Macron Heads Aid Conference for Lebanon
French President Emmanuel Macron will host an international aid conference for Lebanon on Wednesday, hoping to jumpstart his August plans of stabilizing and reviving Beirut’s failing economy, which have since been put on hold as the beleaguered Middle Eastern nation grapples with a prolonged and messy political crisis. Four months after the massive blast in Beirut that killed over 200 people, injured many thousands more and left 300,000 homeless, Lebanon remains without a functioning government and its financial collapse is getting worse by the day. Attempts to assist the country’s economy by foreign actors and international monetary organizations have failed to materialize because of Beirut’s continued inner bickering and its refusal to enact reforms and disavow Hizbullah, the strongest political group in Lebanon, which maintains a private military and is considered by the United States, the European Union and Israel to be a terrorist organization. Macron’s Wednesday’s conference will be co-hosted with the United Nations, and later this month the French president will visit Lebanon himself to assess the situation – his third visit in four months.