French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday said an international fundraising conference for Lebanon will be held in the next few days after the deadly explosion that devastated Beirut.
On a visit to the gutted city, Macron said that France will organize a conference with European, American and Middle Eastern and other donors to raise money for food, medicine, housing and other urgent aid.
Macron also promised a “clear and transparent governance” so that the aid goes directly to the populations and aid groups.
On Tuesday, two enormous explosions devastated Beirut’s port that left at least 137 people dead and over 5,000 injured across wide parts of the country’s biggest city, shaking distant buildings and spreading panic and chaos across the Lebanese capital.
Prime Minister Hassan Diab said that 2,750 tonnes of the agricultural fertiliser ammonium nitrate that had been stored for years in a portside warehouse had blown up, sparking “a disaster in every sense of the word”.
The blasts were so massive they shook the entire city and could be heard throughout the small country, and as far away as Nicosia on the eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus, 240 kilometres (150 miles) away.
The explosions also come as Lebanon awaits a UN tribunal’s verdict Friday on the 2005 murder of former Lebanese premier Rafic Hariri, killed in a huge truck bomb attack.
Meanwhile, leaders across the world expressed their grief and condolences to the victims.
In a tweet, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, “Shocked and saddened by the large explosion in Beirut city leading to loss of life and property. Our thoughts and prayers are with the bereaved families and the injured.”
United States President Donald Trump said his military generals told him they “seem to feel” that the massive explosion was in fact a bomb attack.