The Lebanese parliament approved a two-week state of emergency for Beirut, after the city was declared a disaster area following the devastating explosion at the port last August 4, which left over 200 dead and 6,500 injured.The parliament also approved the resignations of eight deputies.
The special parliamentary session, which lasted just over an hour, was held in the presence of only three ministers from the resigning government of Hassan Diab: the deputy prime minister and defense minister, Zeina Acar, the interior minister, Mohammad Fahmi, and the Minister of Culture and Agriculture, Abbas Mortada.
The independent deputies and parliamentarians of the Christian party of the Lebanese Forces led by Samir Geagea are absent. A state of emergency was declared for two weeks, until August 18, by the Diab government, now discharged, the day after the disaster caused by the explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored in the port.
The outgoing deputies are: Samy Gemayel, Nadim Gemayel, and ÉliasHankache of the Christian Kataeb party, the independent Paula Yacoubian, Michel Moawad, NehmatFrem, Henri Hélou, and Marwan Hamadé.
The measure approved today by the Lebanese Parliament will give the army, special powers to contain protests. The military will be able to disperse public assemblies, and ban gatherings deemed a threat to national security.
The military will also be able to break into homes and arrest anyone carrying out activities considered a threat to national security.
Seventeen tons of medicines and medical equipment were delivered this morning in Beirut. The aid arrived on a humanitarian flight from the European Union. They will serve to support health care crushed by the pandemic and the 4 August explosions.
The country has a fragile health system that struggles to assist, in particular, the weakest sections of the population.After the double blast that devastated Beirut on Tuesday, international leaders gathered on Saturday to raise aid. At the virtual meeting- organized by France and the United Nations – the countries and institutions that participated in the conference of donors in support of Lebanon have committed themselves to aid for over 250 million euros.
Beyond the emergency aid, offered unconditionally, the participants said they were ready to support the country’s subsequent economic and financial recovery, but stressed that this requires the Lebanese authorities to commit themselves to carrying out the reforms that are loudly called for by the population.
The representatives of 28 countries, including the United States, Spain and Brazil, and institutions such as the European Union, the Arab League, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund attended the conference hosted by Emmanuel Macron.