US Offers Lebanon $80.5m Amid Economic Turmoil
The United States has announced that it will provide $80.5 million in aid to Lebanon for food assistance and solar-powered water pumping facilities.
Samantha Power made the statement in Lebanon before attending COP27 in Egypt.
During the visit, she will meet with Lebanese political leaders to urge a resolution to the country's leadership vacuum and the changes required by the IMF to secure a $3 billion aid package.
Lebanon is experiencing the worst economic crisis in its modern history.
President Michel Aoun's six-year term ended on October 31, with no replacement elected.
Power, on the other hand, did not say whether US help would depend on Lebanon taking these steps.
"We are not focused on what happens if those reforms don't happen. The reforms have to happen," she said.
"The prospect of an IMF deal should be enough to end the infighting and bickering and do what is needed for the sake of the country", she added.
To date, USAID has allocated around $260 million to Lebanon in 2022.
Power announced an additional $72 million for food assistance for 650,000 people over the next five months as part of a $2 billion global food security project.
Lebanon buys a lot of its food from other countries and has always gotten most of its wheat from Ukraine and Russia. Because of Russia's war in Ukraine, Lebanon has had a lot of trouble getting enough food.
In addition, Power announced an $8.5 million investment in 22 new solar-powered pumping stations.
Lebanon has been dealing with a terrible electricity crisis, which has caused pumping stations to lose power and run out of water.
Public water supply constraints are causing Lebanon's first cholera outbreak in three decades.
The majority of Lebanese now rely on water trucked in by private suppliers, which is often contaminated.
Source: The New Arab