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INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE

US pledges $72 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon

Power said the aid would allow 660,000 new beneficiaries to be added to the list of people who are already receiving support from USAID.

US pledges $72 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon

The administrator of the United States Agency for International Development, Samantha Power. (Credit: Richard Salame/L'Orient Today)

BEIRUT — The United States pledged $72 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon on Wednesday, aiming at helping to feed hundreds of thousands of Lebanese who are currently struggling to put food on the table amid the country's ongoing economic crisis, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, said during a visit to Lebanon.

Power said the aid would allow 660,000 new beneficiaries to be added to the list of people who are already receiving support from USAID.

Before Power made the announcement, USAID had already provided $260 million in development assistance and aid to Lebanon in 2022.

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Power told L’Orient Today, that the “USA has been supporting Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and Lebanon as the host country, however because of the grave economic crisis facing the country, Lebanese families themselves are now also relying on the aid, something they had never envisioned for themselves before.”

She added that the US “will be bringing around $14 million in food security money, this is rooted in the crisis of today, which will also entail investments in longer term food security resilience such as making sure farmers have the know-how on the latest seed technology, including seeds that are resilient to climate change, including investments in machinery.”

Power also noted that the US will also keep supporting the Lebanese security forces.

The United States donated 13 Humvee military vehicles, 11 other vehicles and military equipment to the Lebanese Army as part of a US military aid program on Monday amid Lebanon's economic and financial crisis.

Washington regularly provides equipment to the Lebanese military. Last August, the US offered the army 150 Humvee military vehicles.

Lebanese politics

Power is set to meet Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Thursday, before heading to Egypt to partake in the COP27 summit.

She expressed regret that the political leaders in Lebanon are still not able to come together to create vital reforms that will allow Lebanon to grow beyond aid and humanitarian assistance towards long term recovery.

She called for the election of a president , and an empowered cabinet as Lebanon is experiencing its first double executive vacuum after former President Michel Aoun's term ended on Oct. 31.

Iranian fuel

Asked about the possibility of Lebanon receiving fuel donations from Iran, Power would not confirm or deny whether Lebanon’s acceptance of possible Iranian fuel might result in US sanctions. Instead, she highlighted ongoing US- and World Bank-led discussions around an Egyptian-Jordanian-Lebanese energy deal. "We think there are energy solutions on hand that can make an enormous difference for the Lebanese people," she said. The World Bank has yet to approve the financing of this project.

Power also announced $8.5 million in funding for Lebanon that will support 22 new solar-powered water pumping projects in Lebanon.

"These projects, which will be completed over the next two years, will serve more than 150 towns and villages and benefit over half a million Lebanese citizens and refugees by providing reliable access to water and decreasing operating costs and dependence on fuel to those who desperately need it," the US embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.


BEIRUT — The United States pledged $72 million in humanitarian assistance to Lebanon on Wednesday, aiming at helping to feed hundreds of thousands of Lebanese who are currently struggling to put food on the table amid the country's ongoing economic crisis, the administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, said during a visit to Lebanon.Power said the aid...