The UK is set to escalate its involvement in Lebanon following the Beirut port explosion on August 04 which devastated large swathes of the Lebanese capital.
Taking to Twitter, Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, pledged £20 million in aid to Lebanon ostensibly to “help the most vulnerable”.
The UK is committed to supporting the Lebanese people after the explosion in Beirut, and we are pledging another £20m to help the most vulnerable ????Thank you @EmmanuelMacron and @AminaJMohammed for convening today’s virtual conference on the crisis in Lebanon.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) August 9, 2020
According to the government, the funds will be directly allocated to those “injured and displaced by the explosion” by providing “access to food and medicine as well as other urgent supplies”.
The latest offer of aid is on top of the £5 million so-called “emergency relief effort” which the UK pledged immediately after the explosion which killed nearly 160 people, injured more than 5,000 and left up to 300,000 people homeless.
In the immediate aftermath of the explosion the UK also announced it will send the Royal Navy survey ship HMS Enterprise to the port of Beirut as part of a “wide-ranging package of military support”.
The British government’s decision to escalate its involvement in Lebanon comes in the wake of French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Beirut on August 06 where he blatantly interfered in Lebanon’s internal affairs by calling for the overhaul of the country’s political system.
As part of a broader effort to enhance Britain’s profile in Lebanon, Johnson spoke with the Lebanese President, Michel Aoun, in a phone call yesterday (August 08) where he reportedly said the UK would “stand by the country [Lebanon] in its hour of need”.