World leaders hold aid summit to help Beirut

France's president hosted a summit to ask world leaders to help Beirut after the catastrophic explosion last week. A virtual conference was held. The president said Lebanon needed aid immediately. He said: "We must act quickly…so that this aid goes directly to where it is needed. Lebanon's future is at stake." Dozens of pledges of assistance came from Lebanon's neighbours, Europe, Asia, and the USA. The total promised so far is $300 million.

Europe will give $68 million to help Beirut. A spokesperson said: "We are providing humanitarian support to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people." The money will go to charities. Qatar pledged $50 million, the biggest donation from one country. There was spiritual support from the Roman Catholic Church. Pope Francis made a plea saying: "We must all work for the good of this beloved country." He appealed for "generous help".