Doha: Qatar announced on Thursday that it will donate $60 million to the Lebanese army as part of its support for Lebanon, which has been devastated by the worst economic crisis in its history.
Qatar’s foreign ministry announced in a press release that the wealthy Gulf emirate would provide “$60 million to support the Lebanese army,” as Qatar’s head of diplomacy, Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdel Rahman al-Thani, is in Beirut. To participate in the Arab League meeting.
“We believe this support will show our commitment to the Lebanese people and government institutions,” Majid al-Ansari, an adviser to the minister, told AFP.
“He must show the Lebanese people that the Arab world has not forgotten him,” he added. As an ally, Qatar has been at the forefront of supporting Lebanon.
In Beirut, Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikadi and Army Chief Joseph Aoun thanked Qatar for the gesture.
“This new Qatari aid to the Lebanese army (…) will help Lebanon overcome this difficult period and preserve its stability,” Mikadi said.
A Lebanese military source told AFP it was the first time a foreign country had funded the Lebanese army, which was rolled back by the currency’s devaluation. Its value since the beginning of the crisis in 2019.
The average soldier’s salary today is less than $100, compared to $800 before 2019.
In July, Qatar announced that it would donate 70 tonnes of food to a military establishment hit hard by the economic downturn.
According to the World Bank, the crisis in Lebanon, the world’s worst since 1850, has devastated the state budget and armed forces and impoverished the majority of the population.
Relations between Beirut and Gulf Arab states have soured in recent years due to the growing influence of pro-Iranian Hezbollah, a heavyweight in Lebanese politics accused of supporting Houthi rebels fighting the Saudi-led military coalition. In Yemen since 2014.
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