Representatives from 60 governments and financial organisations are attending a conference in Stockholm to spearhead funding for Lebanese reconstruction. The initial target is 400 million euros. Sweden’s Prime Minister Goran Persson said: “Seventeen days have passed since the ceasefire in Lebanon – 17 days of fragile security for the people of the region. People are returning to their villages, they return to demolished houses, roads and bridges, to destroyed hospitals and schools. So much of what had been built-up has once again been reduced to ruins.”
The European Union has already pledged 42 million euros for bomb-clearance and road rebuilding. The money raised in Sweden is earmarked for sheltering some 30,000 families and restoring power supplies. Lebanese officials estimate that the recent conflict has caused three billion euros worth of damage to the country’s infrastructure.