The following is UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Jane Mohammed’s opening remarks at the international conference on assistance and support to Beirut and the Lebanese people:
“Let me start by bringing you greetings from Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who has asked me to express his solidarity and strong commitment for the wellbeing of the people of Lebanon. He regrets not being able to join you today at this critical Conference.
We are grateful for the leadership of our co-convener, President Macron, in ensuring we could organize this high-level gathering only few days since the tragedy, underscoring our strong sense of urgency.
The explosion in Beirut last Tuesday shocked the world.
Neighborhoods flattened, at least 150 lives lost, a large part of the country’s grain reserves obliterated, six hospitals damaged or destroyed, hundreds of thousands have been made homeless - many of them children.
I offer my condolences to those who lost loved ones, and a full recovery to the thousands of injured.
Above all, I give my pledge that the United Nations is committed to helping the people of Lebanon in every way we can.
Since the blast, the UN system has been working around the clock, delivering medical supplies, shelter kits and food parcels, and helping reunite separated families.