POLICY Statement

August 4, 2021: ATFL Statement on Special Assistance Package for Lebanon

August 04, 2021

Washington, DC, August 4, 2021 (ATFL) - The American Task Force on Lebanon (ATFL), a leadership organization comprised of Americans of Lebanese heritage, expresses its gratitude to the Biden Administration for the announcement today of an additional $98 million in support of humanitarian assistance to the country. The funding comes in response to an appeal by France to international donors on the first-year anniversary of the explosion at the Port of Beirut which claimed more than 200 lives, left over 7,000 injured, and more than $4.6 billion in physical damages. 

Since the blast, the ATFL has been working with Congress and the Trump and Biden administrations to make sure that the suffering of the Lebanese people is not overlooked. The US government has provided more than $370 million in FY 2021 for humanitarian funding for Lebanon, and ATFL continues to build bipartisan support in the Congress to provide increased aid in FY 2022. 

At the international donor’s conference held today, President of France Emmanuel Macron announced that $370 million in emergency aid had been raised from all participants in addition to in-kind donations, such as Covid vaccines. In his message to the conference, President Biden said that "no amount of outside assistance will ever be enough if Lebanon's leaders do not commit to do the hard but necessary work of reforming the economy and combating corruption." 

ATFL will hold a virtual conference on August 5 to discuss Lebanon’s cause with US Ambassador Dorothy Shea; UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Dr. Joanna Wronecka; Dr. Michel Mawad, President of Lebanese American University; and Dr. Paul Salem, President of the Middle East Institute. Details and registration can be found here.

ATFL views the announcement of this additional humanitarian support as a positive step and thanks the Biden Administration for keeping Lebanon at the top of its agenda. We will continue our efforts to bring attention to US policymakers of the growing needs of the Lebanese people. 

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