Spain sends emergency aid to Lebanon
As a result of the tragic explosion in Beirut Port on 4 August, killing many victims and causing serious material damage to the city, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, Arancha González Laya, immediately contacted her Lebanese counterpart, Charbel Wehbe, in order to express her solidarity and find out the country’s immediate needs.

In response to her request, the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (Spanish acronym: AECID) has coordinated the shipment of emergency aid through the Humanitarian Aid Office (Spanish acronym: OAH).

Part of this aid will be transported in an A400 sustainment aircraft of the Spanish Air Force, which will leave Zaragoza Air Base on Tuesday, 11 August. This shipment will include 10 tonnes of wheat, provided by the Olof Palme International Foundation, given that the explosion caused the supply of this basic foodstuff to run out.

AECID will also send medical supplies, medicines and individual protective equipment for their use in mobile clinics and health centres. It has also made available shelters to the Lebanese authorities for those that have lost their homes in the explosion.

In addition, in response to the call made by the International Federation of Red Cross, AECID will contribute 50,000 euros to support the response plan by the Lebanese Red Cross to strengthen pre-hospitalisation services, the provision of first aid and blood transfusions, and cater to the basic needs of the worst affected communities.

AECID has also activated the emergency convention with the Spanish Red Cross for a total of 100,000 euros to support this response plan by the Lebanese Red Cross. Meanwhile, Spain will remain attentive to any new international calls that may be made.

The Lebanese Red Cross is the humanitarian institution acting as the first responder on the ground in providing urgent attention to the thousands of people affected by the explosion. Spain has signed up to the contributions from the European Union and other countries to support Lebanon given the scale of this crisis that is exacerbating the problems in the country.

For its part, from the very outset, the Ministry of Defence has offered to provide humanitarian aid through the Spanish contingent at UNIFIL – the peacekeeping operation in southern Lebanon, where it has had its largest deployment overseas since 2006, contributing to peace and security in Lebanon and the region.

At the request of the UNIFIL Commander, Brigade General Fernández Herrero, Head of the East Section of the mission, submitted the capacities that the contingents under his command could contribute to providing support to the city of Beirut in the event that they so request this. These include a unit of engineers and a unit for providing logistical support, together with medical capacities and NBC reconnaissance and detection units. These units would be made up of resources and personnel from Nepal, Indonesia and India, as well as from Spain.



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