Office of the Spokesman
August 31, 2006
U.S. Assistance Projects for Lebanon
Released on August 31, 2006
On August 31, Ambassador Randall L. Tobias, Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and USAID Administrator outlined how assistance pledged by the United States would be directed to support Lebanon's reconstruction. Speaking at the Stockholm Conference on Lebanon's Recovery, Ambassador Tobias noted that over $50 million of President Bush's $230 million pledge for humanitarian aid, reconstruction, and security assistance is already in use to help the Lebanese people. Below are six examples of the many ways the remaining $180 million will support vital needs identified by the Lebanese Government.
- Rebuilding the Fidar Bridge in Jbail: The U.S. will help restore this vital link in Lebanon's coastal highway. The bridge is essential for the movement of emergency cargo shipments between the ports of Tripoli and Beirut, and is an important connector for several roadways linking north Lebanon to the most heavily damaged areas in the South.
- Road Repairs from Marjeyoun to Nabatyeh: The U.S. will support removal of debris from roads vital to recovery, a project which is already underway and is stimulating the local economy through cash-for-work programs that benefit thousands.
- Residential Reconstruction Support: The United States is already assisting thousands of people whose homes were damaged, with tens of thousands of additional families slated to receive assistance in the coming months. Some are being reimbursed for materials needed to make quick repairs. Others will receive materials for short-term repairs. For the elderly, infirm, or wounded, the U.S. is procuring materials and hiring local workers to assist them. For families whose homes were severely damaged, the U.S. is providing temporary shelter while they make permanent repairs.
- Restoring and Repairing Schools: The United States is also helping the Lebanese people to repair schools for the coming school year. In El Khiam, and Andaisse, the U.S. is helping remove debris, repair structural damage, and clean up schools that were used to shelter displaced persons during the conflict. Similar efforts are under way in Baalbek, Hasbaya, Sidon, Tyre, and Beirut. In the South, schools receiving support include the Lebaa School and the Saydoun School.
- Environmental Cleanup: The U.S. is contracting with a company with representatives already on the ground in Lebanon to clean a high priority site near Beirut, train clean-up crews, and provide the necessary equipment. Working with Lebanese and participating international aid organizations, the team will also develop a wildlife protection plan, spill response and remediation training to empower the Lebanese to be in a position to cope with any future spills on a more immediate basis.
- Restoring the Fishing Industry: The United States is providing livelihood kits—including nets, hooks, and other materials—to thousands of fishermen along the coast from Tripoli to Nakoura, where recovery hinges on getting the fishing industry back up and running.
Full text of Ambassador Tobias' intervention at the Stockholm Conference for Lebanon's Early Relief can be found at www.state.gov