top of page
  • Writer's pictureInternational

Scottish Government donates £300,000 to aid Beirut recovery

The aid will go to three separate charities as sectarian divides prevent formation

by Anttoni Numminen

Photo courtesy of Rashid Khreiss via Unsplash

The Scottish Government has pledged to donate £300,000 to help with the ongoing recovery work in Beirut following a massive explosion that occurred on the 4 August, in the capital city of Lebanon, caused by the unsafe storage of 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate.

The aid will go to three charities - The British Red Cross, Christian Aid, and Tearfund – which will each receive £100,000. The Scottish Government has said the charities and local partners will provide funds to those still affected by the disaster so they can access food and security, shelter and repair to housing, medical supplies, and treatment.

As many as 300,000 people have been made temporarily homeless and collective losses might reach £8-11bn.

Lebanon is a country that continues to suffer from endemic corruption and a growing refugee crisis. With over 2.3 million refugees, Lebanon has the highest per capita refugee population in the world – estimated at 30% of the population.

The Scottish Govt’s International Development Minister Jenny Gilruth said: “When confronted with such an emergency, the Scottish Government will fulfill its role as a responsible and compassionate global citizen. This Humanitarian Emergency Fund aid will provide essential help to those who are in desperate need.”

However, governments worldwide as well as international aid agencies have come under fire from activists and volunteers on the ground in Beirut for not giving enough support to grassroots organisations. So far, less than 0.6% of total humanitarian funding for Lebanon’s Covid-19 response plan has gone to local organisations.

France, which has promised to aid Lebanon’s recovery with major donations, has, however, made it conditional on wide reforms of the corrupt political system.

Photo courtesy of Rashid Khreiss via Unsplash

Following the explosion in the heart of Beirut and major anti-government protests, the Cabinet, headed by then-Prime Minister Hassan Diab, resigned while promising to “remain in place as a caretaker government”.

However, the new Prime Minister-designate and former Ambassador to Germany, Mustapha Adib, has struggled to form a new Cabinet coalition.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun said on Monday that his country was going "to hell" if a government is not formed as French efforts to encourage the formation of a new cabinet falter.

One of the main obstacles to forming a Cabinet are sectarian quotas, promoted by Lebanon's two dominant Shia parties, which are calling for more senior Shia ministers to be appointed.

President Aoun recently proposed annulling sectarian quotas in the main cabinet ministries. When asked whether there is no hope for a breakthrough, Aoun said "there might be a miracle".


bottom of page