Iraq-Lebanon gas donations to rise after deadly Beirut port explosion

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Iraq will donate to Lebanon more than 1 million liters of gas oil, Iraq’s oil minister announced on Sunday.

An explosion at the port of Beirut in Lebanon’s capital city on August 4 left vast swaths of the city destroyed, and the country has faced fuel shortages and prolonged electricity cuts due to the ongoing economic crisis.

Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabber Ismaeel said that the oil-producing country would send 30 tankers containing more than 1 million liters of oil to Lebanon. This is the second such shipment to cash-strapped and import-dependent Lebanon, with the previous donation totaling 800,000 liters arriving shortly after the blasts.

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The previous convoy also included “tonnes of medical aid,” news outlet Al Araby reported.

The blasts that rocked Beirut two weeks ago killed at least 178, injured over 6,000, and government officials reported that some 300,000 were left homeless.

The country, which for years has failed to provide 24-hour electricity to its citizens, has been subject to increased electricity shortages as the country’s economic crisis deepens. Some areas now receive only three hours of state-provided power a day, and where costly generators used to make up the gap, even generator owners have stopped providing electricity.

Factions within the government have been accused of smuggling subsidized fuel to Syria, and while the government vowed to crack down on the illegal activity in May, and removed 30 meters of pipes from the Lebanese side of the border with Syria. But, as recently as June, one Member of Parliament alleged that the smuggling was still ongoing.

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