BEIRUT — The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon’s Korea Battalion on Thursday donated a solar power system to the Lebanese Army; the system is meant to meet more than 60 percent of the Lebanese South Litani Sector (SLS) Command's energy needs, the SLS commander said in a statement.
"The electricity supply situation in Lebanon is intermittent and unreliable, a direct result of the severe economic crisis, rising prices, and the collapse of the currency’s value," UNIFIL said in a statement Thursday. "Furthermore, the fuel needed to run the backup generators for electricity is in short supply and rising in price."
SLS Commander Brig. Gen. Maroun Qobayti was quoted in the UNIFIL statement as saying that the new solar power system produces "more than 60 percent of electricity" that SLS Command uses.
This donation is the second of its kind in two months, as the contingent already offered panels to the Lebanese Army in August. The Korean Battalion has "plans to further expand the current solar [energy] system" for the SLS headquarters "to become as self-reliant and operable as possible."
On Wednesday, Lebanese Armed Forces Commander Gen. Joseph Aoun visited Italy and met the Italian Minister of Defense Lorenzo Guerini, who affirmed his country's determination to support the Lebanese Army.
In July, the army also received a donation of three buses and two containers of motor oil donated by Italy.
Qatar had announced $60 million of aid at the beginning of July.
“Qatar has been sending 70 tons of food products to the military institution for around one year,” a Lebanese Army spokesperson told L'Orient Today on Thursday. The army had also received around 80 tons of aid, including food and cleaning products, from Turkey in March.
US President Joe Biden authorized the donation of $67 million of military assistance for Lebanon’s armed forces to support members of the military as the country faces a steep economic crisis.
The crisis has melted the budget of the state and the armed forces, plunging much of the population into poverty. The average salary of a soldier today amounts to less than $100, while it stood at $800 dollars before 2019.