Beirut Blast

United Nations (UN) Special Coordinator for Lebanon Jan Kubis on Tuesday called for early formation of a Lebanese government following the resignation of Prime Minister Hassan Diab and his cabinet.

Kubis, who briefed the Security Council in a closed session on Tuesday, emphasized the importance of avoiding a prolonged period of governmental vacuum.

He urged a rapid formation of a new government that meets the aspirations of the Lebanese people and enjoys their support, a government that can address the urgent and many challenges facing the country, break with the corrupt practices of the past, his office said in a press release after the briefing.

“There are immediate humanitarian needs that need to be addressed and necessary reforms that need to be undertaken without any delay to restore the trust of the Lebanese people, and of the international community in Lebanon,” Kubis was quoted as saying.

The Lebanese government resigned on Monday amid protests after two huge explosions hit the Port of Beirut on Aug. 4, claiming at least 171 lives and injuring thousands.

The deadly blasts also caused massive economic losses worth 10 billion to 15 billion U.S. dollars, according to Beirut Governor Marwan Abboud.

“A rapid assessment of the 55 primary health centers in the blast areas shows that some 35 percent sustained moderate to severe damage,” said Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

The UN Children’s Fund reported that an education assessment shows some 20 technical schools have been damaged. A dozen of countries and international organizations have expressed solidarity and sympathy with Lebanon over the deadly explosions, with emergency aid to the Middle East country.

Members of the Security Council reiterated their solidarity and strong support through urgent humanitarian assistance and commitment of the international community to Lebanon and its people, according to the press release.

The World Health Organization said that an 18-ton shipment of personal protective equipment landed in Beirut on Tuesday.

The World Food Programme is allocating 5,000 food parcels to affected families in Lebanon. Each package of basic food items such as rice, pasta, oil, sugar, salt and tomato paste is enough to feed five people for one month. A fund-raising conference backed by UN and hosted by France on Sunday has so far received more than 290 million dollars in pledges.

Lebanon has in the past days received donations from multiple countries, including China, Russia, France, Qatar, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Britain and many more.

UN Undersecretary-General for Peace Operations Jean-Pierre Lacroix, who also briefed the Security Council, said the UN peacekeeping mission in Lebanon, known as UNIFIL, continues to work in close coordination with the Lebanese armed forces.

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