Lebanese politicians must shoulder their responsibilities, as the people should not be punished for the “political paralysis”, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary-General of the Arab League, said during an international virtual meeting on humanitarian aid for Lebanon on Wednesday.
Aboul Gheit emphasised the importance of global solidarity with Lebanon in these difficult circumstances, urging that the Lebanese should help themselves as well.
“The ball is in the court of the Lebanese political leaders, they must accelerate the formation of the government to carry out the necessary reforms required,” he added.
The meeting, organised by France and the United Nations (UN), is the second to take place since the disastrous 4 August explosion that destroyed Beirut’s port and wrecked large parts of the capital.
The blast, which also killed over 200 people and wounded thousands, was caused by the detonation of nearly 3,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate that for years had been unsafely stored at a warehouse in the port.
Aboul Gheit’s speech cited the contributions made by the joint Arab action to help and support the Lebanese people in the wake of Beirut explosion. This included the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development’s contribution of about $7m.
He indicated that certain sectors should be prioritised as aid receivers, foremost of which is the health sector, which is still suffering from worrying conditions in light of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Aboul Gheit also warned of the danger that Lebanon will lose the world’s attention and sympathy if the state of political paralysis continues. He added that it is vitally important for the country to receive continued support to overcome this dangerous turning point in its modern history.