5-speed listening (Beirut - Level 6)

World leaders hold aid summit to help Beirut



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French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a summit on Sunday to encourage other world leaders to help Beirut. The virtual conference was held in response to the catastrophic explosion that devastated Lebanon's capital city last week. President Macron said the Lebanese people needed aid immediately and directly. He said: "We must act quickly and efficiently so that this aid goes directly to where it is needed. Lebanon's future is at stake." The conference was co-hosted by the UN and secured pledges of assistance from dozens of countries, including Lebanon's neighbours, countries from Europe and Asia, and the USA. The international donors have so far pledged $300 million to help Beirut.

The European Commission promised over $68 million to help Beirut. An EC spokesperson said: "As needs rise, we are providing humanitarian support to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people." The funding will go directly to charities and UN agencies. The Arab state of Qatar pledged the biggest donation from a single country. It is donating $50 million, while Kuwait offered $40 million. There was also spiritual assistance for the people of Lebanon. The head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Francis, made a plea saying: "We must all work for the good of this beloved country." He added: "I also renew my appeal for generous help from the international community."

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