The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and the Honourable Karina Gould, Minister of International Development, today issued the following statement on the anniversary of the Beirut port explosion:
“Today, Canada stands with the Lebanese people, as we recall the human tragedy that happened a year ago in the Port of Beirut. Canada will always remember that this explosion killed at least 200 people, including children, wounded thousands, displaced 300,000 people and destroyed half the city. As we grieve, our hearts are with the victims’ loved ones, who still await a full investigation. This was a devastating blow to Lebanon as it struggled with an ongoing socio-economic crisis made worse by the global pandemic. Canada reiterates its call for a full and transparent investigation into, and accountability for, the explosion in the Port of Beirut.
“Following this tragedy, Canada responded swiftly with early humanitarian support through its trusted international partners. Canada provided $20 million in immediate humanitarian assistance and an additional $10 million to aid early recovery efforts. This included the Government of Canada matching $8 million generously donated by Canadians to the Lebanon Matching Fund to support the humanitarian needs of people whose lives have been affected by the disaster. The funding is helping families and supporting small-scale farmers and the local food chain.
“We are also providing $20 million to the World Bank’s Lebanon Financing Facility toward the socio-economic recovery of Lebanese people and businesses in line with the bank’s Lebanon Reform, Recovery and Reconstruction Framework.
“We continue to firmly stand with the Lebanese people and are ready to support them further. Canada will continue to reiterate that Lebanon’s leaders must act now to form a government that can and will begin the reforms the country so desperately needs and deserves. Canada remains committed to continuing its efforts and to working with the international community to pressure Lebanon’s leaders to deliver on the legitimate demands of the Lebanese people.”