Lebanon to compensate for Beirut blast lost homes, businesses

beirut-explosion-my-gov-did-this
A picture taken on 9 August 2020, shows graffiti on the wall of a bridge overlooking the port of Beirut, the site of the explosion which killed at least 200 people , injured 6500 and left 300, 000 homeless after 2,750 Tonnes of Ammonium Nitrate Exploded . They were stored there for nearly 7 years. The shelf life of the product is supposed to be 6 months according to experts . After 6 months it starts solidifying and becomes more explodable . President Michel Aoun and PM Diab knew about the Ammonium Nitrate 2 weeks before the explosion but did nothing about it . Judge Fadi Sawan who is in charge of the investigation charged Diab , former finance minister Ali Hassan Khalil, and former public works ministers Ghazi Zeaiter and Youssef Finianos with negligence over the explosion (AP Photo/Hussein Malla, Beirut, Lebanon(Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP)
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Lebanon on Thursday unveiled a compensation programme for the thousands of homes and businesses devastated by the August 4 mega-blast at Beirut’s port.

A picture taken on 9 August 2020, shows graffiti on the wall of a bridge overlooking the port of Beirut, the site of the explosion which killed at least 191 people and devastated swathes of the capital. (Photo by Anwar Amro/AFP)

President Michel Aoun signed a decree allocating 100 billion Lebanese pounds (more than $66 million at the official exchange rate, or $13 billion on the black market) to the programme, his office said.

It added that the army and Beirut municipality would be tasked with setting up a mechanism to distribute the funds.

The compensation will go to owners of homes and businesses damaged in the explosion that left more than 190 dead and devastated swathes of the capital, a source at the presidency said.

According to an assessment by the army, the blast caused by a consignment of ammonium nitrate damaged almost 61,000 homes and over 19,000 businesses.

The explosion compounded Lebanon’s worst economic crisis since the 1975-1990 civil war.

On August 9, the international community pledged around $300 million in emergency aid at a conference jointly organised by France and the United Nations.

The UN is to coordinate the aid to ensure it reaches those in need directly rather than through Lebanese government bodies, which are widely accused of corruption.

( AFP/ FRANCE24)

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