Lebanon has a long, complicated history of pain, suffering, and mismanagement at the hands of oft-times self-serving oligarch government, their neighbors, and violent internal political movements.
The country has been going through a financial meltdown over the past several years. This past July, the Lebanese pound was reported to have lost 80% of its worth. Double-digit unemployment rates are making things worse. The nation's infrastructure, wholly inadequate for serving its people, routinely fails. Nightly blackouts, medical institutions included, are not uncommon. Last week's explosion one hell of a haymaker to sustain on top of all of these debilitating body blows. The city of Beirut, and its people, are shattered. Violent protests against the government have broken out with calls for the country's leaders to step down. Given all that's occurred, fair enough. In short, Lebanon's seven million citizens, need help.
According to the BBC, despite the social and economic chaos that COVID-19 has caused in the rest of the world, a small handful of nations are stepping up to lend a hand in the form of close to $300 million in aid.
Fifteen government leaders at the donor summit, spearheaded by French President Emmanuel Macron, promised "major resources", according to a statement.
"Assistance should be timely, sufficient and consistent with the needs of the Lebanese people," it said, adding that help must be "directly delivered to the Lebanese population, with utmost efficiency and transparency".
The donors were prepared to help Lebanon's longer-term recovery if the government listened to the changes demanded by the country's citizens, the communique said.
President Macron's office said France had received pledges worth €252.7m ($297m, £227m) from the summit.
$300 million sounds like a lot of cheddar. However, given that it's estimated that the explosion in Beirut caused $15 billion in damage to the city, it's a fart in a mist. As The BBC points out, there are "…58 people dead, 6,000 injured and 300,000 homeless," thanks to the detonation of a massive amount of ammonium nitrate that had been improperly stored in a warehouse located at the blast site, for six years. No doubt, more aid will be announced in the coming months and days. However, every little bit helps. If you're in a position to donate, The Lebanese Red Cross, the United Nations World Food Program, the International Medical Core, and Impact Lebanon Are all worth your consideration.