UK to raise £5m for coronavirus refugees from Syria, Yemen

The donations will go towards charities helping refugees from countries like Syria. (AP/File)
Short Url
Updated 14 July 2020

UK to raise £5m for coronavirus refugees from Syria, Yemen

  • The donations would help boost the work of 14 leading British charities who assist vulnerable people globally

LONDON: The UK government will channel £5 million ($6.3 million) of donations to charities that help fight coronavirus in refugee camps and developing countries.
The donation made by the British public will go to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Coronavirus Appeal.
The British international development secretary, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said this would help boost the work of 14 leading British charities who assist vulnerable people globally. 
Those institutions are helping refugees who fled war zones in countries such as Syria, Yemen and South Sudan deal with the pandemic, a statement from the secretary’s office said.
The assistance includes providing frontline doctors and aid workers with equipment and supplies to care for the vulnerable and sick.
It also provides families with clean water and soap, as well as information about the dangers of the disease.
Tuesday’s announcement takes the total amount of UK aid pledged to end the pandemic globally to £769 million, the statement said.


Lebanon information minister quits in first government resignation over blast

Updated 09 August 2020

Lebanon information minister quits in first government resignation over blast

  • Manal Abdel-Samad apologizes to the Lebanese public for failing them
  • Explosion killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of the capital

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s information minister Manal Abdel Samad on Sunday quit in the first government resignation since a deadly port blast killed more than 150 people and destroyed swathes of the capital.

“After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government,” she said in a statement carried by local media, apologizing to the Lebanese public for failing them.

The head of Lebanon’s Maronite church meanwhile called on the entire government to step down over the August 4 explosion, a blast widely seen as shocking proof of the rot at the core of the state apparatus.

Lebanese protesters enraged by the blast vowed to rally again after a night of street clashes in which they stormed several ministries.

Maronite patriarch Beshara Rai joined the chorus of people pressing Prime Minister Hassan Diab’s cabinet to step down over a blast he said could be “described as a crime against humanity.”

“It is not enough for a lawmaker to resign here or a minister to resign there,” Rai said in a Sunday sermon.

“It is necessary, out of sensitivity to the feelings of the Lebanese and the immense responsibility required, for the entire government to resign, because it is incapable of moving the country forward.”

Rai echoed calls by Diab for early parliamentary polls — a long-standing demand of a protest movement that began in October, demanding the removal of a political class deemed inept and corrupt.

He also joined world leaders, international organizations and the angry Lebanese public by pressing for an international probe into an explosion authorities say was triggered by a fire in a port warehouse, where a huge shipment of hazardous ammonium nitrate had languished for years.

President Michel Aoun on Friday rejected calls for an international investigation, which he said would “dilute the truth.”

At least six lawmakers have quit since the explosion.

Under increased pressure from the street and foreign partners exasperated by the leadership’s inability to enact reforms, Diab’s government is fraying at the edges.