Poverty rates will increase after blast: Lebanon's president

Aoun stressed the necessity of "rebuilding Beirut Port, the vital artery for the Lebanese economy

  
Lebanon's President Michel Aoun meets with Lebanese political leaders to present the plan aimed at steering the country out of a financial crisis, at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon May 6, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun meets with Lebanese political leaders to present the plan aimed at steering the country out of a financial crisis, at the presidential palace in Baabda, Lebanon May 6, 2020. Dalati Nohra/Handout via REUTERS

BEIRUT: President Michel Aoun said Friday that poverty rates would increase following the devastation of the Beirut Port explosion, which damaged half the capital.

Speaking during the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, Aoun said, “Lebanon was traumatized by the explosion of the Beirut Port ... resulting in human casualties, great material losses and enormous negative effects that will not only exacerbate the declining economy, but will also lead to an increase in poverty rates."

Aoun stressed the necessity of "rebuilding Beirut Port, the vital artery for the Lebanese economy, and addressing the grave damage inflicted on all sectors: health, education, food, construction and tourism.”

The president called for the support of “the international community and United Nations organizations to help [Lebanon] overcome the urgent circumstances.”

The Aug. 4 Beirut Port explosion killed at least 192 people and wounded thousands. Half of the capital was damaged and an estimated 300,000 residents were displaced in the aftermath of the blast.

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