UAE ship carries 2,400 tonnes of aid to Lebanon following Beirut explosion

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A ship carrying aid traveled from the UAE to Lebanon left for Beirut on Tuesday with supplies to help rebuild the city following a deadly explosion last month that killed at least 190.

The ship was dispatched by the Emirates Red Crescent (ERC), a UAE-based humanitarian organization, under the directive of Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the chairman of the ERC, state news agency WAM reported.

The ship is carrying a variety of aid goods, including food, medical supplies, children’s food supplements, personal protective equipment, sanitizer, and clothes, WAM said.

“The ERC has drafted a comprehensive plan, in coordination with the Humanitarian and Development Affairs Office of the UAE Embassy in Beirut and relevant Lebanese authorities, to distribute the ship’s contents to people affected by the crisis,” Dr. Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, secretary-general of the ERC said while watching the ship depart.

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Lebanese ambassador to the UAE Fouad Chehab Dandan was also in attendance as the ship left from the UAE.

“We thank the UAE of giving for its assistance. It has always been a supporter of Lebanon and has shown keenness to ensure Lebanon’s security and stability, following the legacy of the Founder of the Union, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan,” Dandan said.

Lebanon is currently in a period of economic crisis, with the outbreak of coronavirus a further blow to the embattled country. The explosion on August 4 was one more catastrophic blow that Lebanon was ill-equipped to handle.

The explosion, caused by a fire that lit 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored at the port on fire killed at least 190, injured over 6,000, and left 40 percent of Beirut severely damaged.

Why the nitrate was stored in the port for seven years remains unclear, but the government knew about its presence and for years failed to act.

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