Large aid shipment from Germany, Portugal arrives in Beirut

A large shipment of relief supplies arrived Saturday in Beirut from Germany and Portugal to help Lebanon’s strained health system five weeks after a devastating blast ripped through the city’s port.  

On August 4, a massive explosion rocked the Beirut port killing more than 190 people and wounding 6,000 others. It also displaced some 300,000 people.

Eight ambulances and other medical supplies arrived on board the Antonov cargo plane from Munich, which was provided by the non-profit German association Orienthelfer founded by the cabaret artist Christian Springer.

According to Springer, portions of the aid were paid for by a donation of 200,000 euros (236,000 dollars) from the Bayern Munich football club.

European Union Commissioner for Crisis Management Janez Lenarcic handed over the goods to the Red Cross and the Lebanese Civil Defence.

“This is a sign of Europe’s solidarity with the Lebanese,” he said.

“We have mobilized 63 million euros as European Commission alone to help Lebanon overcome the immediate impact of this tragedy,” the EU official added.

This is the third humanitarian airlift launched by the European Union to Lebanon since the blast took place.

In the wake of the blast, the number of coronavirus victims has surged in Lebanon.

In recent days, the Lebanese Health Ministry has reported between 400 and 550 new infections on a daily basis.

In total, Lebanon has so far recorded nearly 23,000 virus cases and 229 deaths.

Lebanon is also suffering through its worst economic crisis since its 15-year civil war ended in 1990.

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