The Vice Minister in charge of development cooperation, Emanuela Del Re, is visiting Beirut today in order to enhance the commitment of Italian cooperation in the field and to ascertain the type and destination of humanitarian needs on the ground in the current emergency and post-emergency phases. In addition to the local authorities, the Vice Minister will have meetings with the UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Lebanon, Najat Rochdi, with the Secretary General of the Lebanese Red Cross, Georges Kettaneh, with Italian civil society organisations (CSOs) operating in Lebanon and with Lebanese CSOs. Ms Del Re will also visit the Italian military field hospital and some rehabilitation projects managed by the Italian CSOs.
Following the explosion in the port of Beirut on 4th August, Italy responded by sending about 20 tons of humanitarian aid, CBCN experts, a rubble removal unit of the Military Engineers, a military field hospital, through 3 flights and 3 humanitarian ships. A first financial contribution of 762,000 euros was also provided to support Lebanese Red Cross emergency response activities. Further financial contributions to the activities of UN agencies, ICRC and CSOs in the field will be made in the near future. The coordination of this aid was discussed during the meeting of 19th August of the Coordination Table on Humanitarian Aid in Lebanon, chaired by the Vice Minister, with the participation of the Ministry of Defence, Civil Protection, AICS, ANCI, Conference of Regions and Autonomous Provinces, Confindustria, CSOs.
"Italy is ready to strengthen its support during this phase of emergency" - Ms Del Re affirmed - "However, our support to the Lebanese people is not limited to the first emergency response and will continue to focus on people's needs and rights in all areas of the country".