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US to give Lebanon $80.5 million in aid amid economic crisis

USAID chief Samantha Power speaks to journalists during her visit to solar panels system in the Lebanese-Syrian border town of Majdal Anjar, eastern Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022 (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)
USAID chief Samantha Power speaks to journalists during her visit to solar panels system in the Lebanese-Syrian border town of Majdal Anjar, eastern Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2022 (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein)

The United States announces that it will give $80.5 million in aid for food assistance and solar-powered water pumping stations in the crisis-battered country of Lebanon.

The announcement is made by USAID chief Samantha Power during a visit to Lebanon ahead of a trip to Egypt for the COP27 UN climate conference.

During the visit, Power is set to meet with Lebanese political leaders to push for a resolution to the country’s political vacuum and for leaders to carry out a slate of political and economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund to clinch a $3 billion aid package.

Power declines to say, however, whether any US assistance would be contingent on Lebanon taking these measures.

“We are not focused on what happens if those reforms don’t happen. The reforms have to happen,” she tells The Associated Press.

The visit comes as Lebanon is in the grip of the worst economic and financial crisis in its modern history. On Oct. 31, the six-year term of President Michel Aoun ended with no replacement elected.

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