EU offers Lebanon 1 billion euros in economic and security support

EU offers Lebanon 1 billion euros in economic and security support

The European Union has pledged 1 billion euros to assist Lebanon’s struggling economy and strengthen its security forces, announced European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen during her visit to Beirut.

This financial aid aims to enhance essential services like healthcare and education. Von der Leyen stressed the importance of Lebanon implementing economic, financial, and banking reforms to revitalise its business environment and banking sector.

The support for Lebanon’s security apparatus will focus on training, equipment, and infrastructure to enhance border management. Due to decades of corruption and poor management, Lebanon’s economy is currently in a downturn, which has made it difficult for the country to access a $3 billion aid package from the International Monetary Fund.

This crisis has led to the depletion of bank savings, currency devaluation, and operational challenges in public institutions. Additionally, Lebanon has witnessed an increase in migrant boats departing for Europe, particularly Cyprus and Italy, with both Syrian and Lebanese nationals aboard.

Von der Leyen and Christodoulides expressed hope for Lebanon to collaborate with Frontex, the EU’s border agency. Despite Lebanese officials suggesting the return of Syrian refugees due to improved conditions in Syria, the United Nations maintains that Syria remains unsafe for their return.