Yesterday, President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. announced nearly $100 million in new humanitarian assistance for Lebanon. This assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the U.S. Department of State will help people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its compounding socioeconomic impacts on the Lebanese people. The funding will also support Syrian refugees sheltering in Lebanon.
With the $41 million of USAID funding, the United States will provide urgently needed food assistance, health care, protection, and water and sanitation support to communities, including those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Importantly, this also includes food assistance to help 400,000 vulnerable Lebanese beneficiaries. Along with funding provided by the U.S. Department of State, this support brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance in Lebanon to more than $372 million in Fiscal Year 2021; in response to COVID-19, the humanitarian impacts of the August 2020 explosions at the Port of Beirut, and the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.
The United States is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance in Lebanon. With so many compounding emergencies in the country and region, including a growing economic crisis, the United States is deeply concerned about the continuing increase in humanitarian needs, and urges other donors to step up to provide much needed support to save lives.