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Plane carrying Belgian aid has left for Beirut

A C-130 cargo plane took off from Melsbroek Airbase in Flemish Brabant on Friday morning bound for the Lebanese capital Beirut. On board were almost 8 tonnes of aid for the UN children’s organisation UNICEF. So far the Belgian Government has given 5 million euro to the immediate aid effort to help the people of Beirut in the wake of the powerful explosion that devastated a wide area of the city earlier this month. 

This is the second flight carrying Belgian aid for Beirut. Most of the aid on board today’s flight is destined for UNICEF. There is also some other aid on board including jerry cans. 

The explosions at Beirut Docks on 4 August killed 181 people and injured a further 6,500 people. Around 30 people are still missing. The port in Beirut is located next to a densely populated area in the city centre. The homes of around 200,000 people were either completely destroyed or rendered uninhabitable. 

The Belgian Foreign Minister Philippe Goffin (Francophone liberal) was due to visit Beirut today (Friday 21 August). However, his visit has been cancelled. An increase in the number of coronavirus infections in Lebanon has meant that the country has started a two-week lockdown. The Belgian Foreign Minister doesn’t want to increase the risk any further and has cancelled his visit. 

 

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