With its damaged infrastructure, Lebanon is hoping that international donors meeting today in Stockholm will pledge 400 million euros for immediate recovery work. Sweden’s Secretary of State for International Cooperation Annika Soder is counting on the generosity of dozens of countries. “This conference,” she said, “will try to fill the gap and to give a peace dividend to the people of Lebanon who have suffered a lot as we know.” EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner speaking in Brussels said she would donate funds for early reconstruction projects. “I will be pledging 42 million euros on behalf of the Commission, in bringing the amount made available since the very beginning of the conflict – whatever has been given by the Commission – to over 100 million euros.”
Money raised in Stockholm will go towards meeting the country’s short-term needs and to removing unexploded bombs and landmines. Lebanon estimates damage to the country’s infrastructure at around 3 billion euros.