OTTAWA | Canada is preparing to send more aid to the Lebanese people recovering from the huge explosion in Beirut, and Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne reports that an important way to do so is to contribute to food security in the field.
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“This is one of the avenues we analyze because it is very important. I think Canada can play a historic role in ensuring Lebanon’s food security, ”he said in a telephone interview on Thursday, mentioning that Canadian exporters and producers are already in the sights of the Trudeau government to lend a hand. strong.
Ottawa has already announced that it will release $ 5 million in humanitarian aid, including $ 1.5 million paid immediately to partners on the ground such as the Lebanese Red Cross. This amount is presented as a first payment and the total contribution of Canada will be “historic”, according to Minister Champagne.
The latter told the QMI Agency that he considered the idea of going on the ground, like French President Emmanuel Macron, but explained that he concluded that Canada’s response would be better if he devoted all his efforts. , for the time being, to the coordination of Canadian support.
“Canada will be at the forefront of the humanitarian response to Lebanon’s needs. Historically, we have always been with Lebanon and we will always be with the Lebanese people ”, he insisted on the other end of the phone, from Shawinigan.
He mentioned that one of the options considered by Ottawa is to set up a structure to facilitate the sending of private donations, an option that had been chosen to help Haiti.
At a press briefing on Parliament Hill, the Minister of International Development Karina Gould insisted that the most important in the 48 hours following a tragedy such as the one which shook Lebanon is to “save lives”. She said that Ottawa is open to the idea of matching donations made by Canadians to the Red Cross, as proposed by the Bloc Quebecois.