United Nations releases 6 million USD in response to Beirut Explosion

The United Nations released 6 million USD in response to the explosion at Beirut port. With this, the total UN funding towards relief operation of the explosion has come to 15 million USD.

A catastrophic blast occurred at the Lebanon capital, Beirut. It was driven by tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate.

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The 6 million USD was released from the Central Emergency Relief Fund. Previously, 9 million USD was released from UN Lebanon Humanitarian Fund to address primary health needs and also to provide food assistance.

The blast devastated the country that is already facing economic crisis, unrest and hardships.

Why is Lebanon in deep crisis?

Lebanon is currently the third most indebted country in the world next to Japan and Greece. The interest payments in the country consume almost half of the government revenues. Public sector wage increase in 2017 and increase in interest rates led to increased budget deficit.

The post war reconstruction in Lebanon led to the current financial problems.

Lebanon War

The 2006 Lebanon War also called the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah War was military conflict in Northern Israel, Lebanon and Golan Heights. The principal parties of the war were Israel Defence Forces and Hezbollah paramilitary forces.

Why is Lebanon highly vulnerable?

There are 18 different religious communities in Lebanon. This includes four Muslim, 12 Christian, Judaism and the Druze Sect. The three main political offices in the country namely President, Prime Minister and the Speaker of the Parliament are divided based on religion. They are Maronite Christian, Sunni Muslim and Shia Muslim. Also, there are 128 Parliament seats in the country that are divided between Muslims and Christians equally.

This huge religious diversity in the country makes it highly vulnerable and an easy target for interference by external powers. For instance, the Hezbollah movement in Lebanon is backed by Iran and is seen as the most powerful Lebanon is ranked 137th out of 180 countries on Transparency International 2019 Corruption Perception Index.

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