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Switzerland pledges CHF4 million to support Lebanese

The blast has been blamed on a warehouse of volatile chemicals. Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

Switzerland has pledged at least CHF4 million ($4.4 million) in direct aid to the Lebanese population following a Beirut explosion that killed more than 150 people. The contribution was made as part of an international donation conference.

This content was published on August 9, 2020 - 16:21
swissinfo.ch/mga

Some 30 countries and organisations took part in the online fundraising summit on Sunday, which was organized by French President Emmanuel Macron. Switzerland was represented by Manuel Bessler, head of the Swiss Humanitarian Aid Corps, the Swiss foreign ministry told the Keystone-SDA news agency.

The money will flow into Lebanon under the supervision of the United Nations and other organisations to be spent on caring for the most severely affected people. The blast on Tuesday also injured some 6,000 people and left 300,000 homeless.

The UN estimates that Lebanon needs around $117 million (CHF107 million) in aid funds. The total amount raised by the fundraising summit on Sunday has not yet been released.

The blast that has been blamed on a store of ammonium nitrate in the warehouse. Many buildings were destroyed or damaged in a large radius, and dozens of people are still missing.

Switzerland has already pledged CHF500,000 to the Lebanese branch of the Red Cross and has sent 20 specialists to Beirut

There are no reports of other casualties among the 1,500 Swiss nationals who live in Lebanon, or from Swiss tourists.

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