Wednesday, January 25, 2023
Beirut – (dpa)
Today, Wednesday, the US Ambassador to Lebanon, Dorothy Shea, announced the approval of Congress for assistance in the amount of $ 100 per month for a period of six months for members of the Lebanese army and internal security forces.
Shea’s announcement came during the launch of the “Program to Support the Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces,” which was held today at the United Nations House (ESCWA Building) in downtown Beirut, in the presence of the Resident Representative of the United Nations Development Program in Lebanon, Melanie Haunstein, the Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, and the Director General of the Forces. Homeland Security Major.
In a speech, Ambassador Shea said, “In light of the urgency of the dire economic situation in Lebanon, we have requested and obtained approval from the US Congress to reallocate a significant portion of our security assistance to support the hard-working men and women of the Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces who faithfully join their positions in order to protect their homeland, with financial assistance that contributes to securing the foundations for their steadfastness and their families.”
She explained that this assistance will provide “all eligible elements, according to US law, with an amount of $100 per month for a period of six months, with a total of $72 million.”
And she considered that this temporary support would allow “assistance to the heroic soldiers and service members,” adding, “It is the first time that the United States provides this type of financial support to the military and security forces in Lebanon.”
She added, “We urge political leaders to elect a president, form a government, and implement immediate economic reforms.”
Hounstein stressed that “security, stability and rapid implementation of reform are the basic conditions for development in Lebanon,” stressing that “transparency and accountability are essential for a project of this magnitude and importance.”
“UNDP will work with trusted partners to ensure that funds reach the most eligible,” she added.
The Lebanese Army Commander said, “The international community’s keenness to preserve the military institutions proves that it will not allow Lebanon to collapse on the security front, and this is done through its continuous support to the Lebanese Army and through its commitment to the international forces operating in the south (UNIFIL).”
He considered that “Lebanon is exposed to a set of challenges and risks, due to its geographical location, and the multiple crises it has faced, in addition to the presence of displaced Syrians and Palestinian refugees.”
He believed that “the impact and consequences of its collapse are not limited to it as a country, but rather will have an indirect impact on the regional security environment.” We promised our people that the army, despite all the challenges it faces, will remain true to its oath to defend the Lebanese and the dignity of the homeland, no matter how heavy and painful the sacrifices are. “.
He hoped that “Lebanon will restore its luster and wellness, and its people, especially the future generation, will regain confidence in it,” pledging that “the military institution will remain coherent and steadfast, contrary to all rumors and accusations.”
The Director General of the Internal Security Forces affirmed that “the launch of this program represents a continuation of the United States’ commitment to support the decisive efforts of both the Lebanese Army and the Internal Security Forces with the aim of ensuring Lebanon’s stability and sovereignty.”
Lebanon has been witnessing a financial and economic crisis since October 2019, which resulted in the deterioration of the living conditions of all Lebanese, including the security forces, and the collapse of the national currency against the US dollar.