International leaders pledge nearly $300M in aid after Beirut explosion

International leaders pledge nearly $300M in aid after Beirut explosion
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World leaders have pledged nearly $300 million in aid for Lebanon five days after the explosion in Beirut left scores dead and thousands injured.

French President Emmanuel MacronEmmanuel Jean-Michel MacronUS-China tensions shadow United Nations meeting The US is missing an opportunity in Lebanon Russia's aggression can and should cost Putin dearly MORE hosted an online international donors’ conference on Sunday, where he told world leaders, including President TrumpDonald John TrumpOmar fires back at Trump over rally remarks: 'This is my country' Pelosi: Trump hurrying to fill SCOTUS seat so he can repeal ObamaCare Trump mocks Biden appearance, mask use ahead of first debate MORE, “to come together in support of Lebanon and its people,” CNN reported

Macron’s office said about $297 million in pledges were received during the conference, BBC reported. The French president said "the objective is to pool our resources to meet the needs of the population of Beirut."

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"The explosion of August 4 was like a thunderbolt. It's time to wake up and take action," Macron said, according to CNN. "The Lebanese authorities now have to put in place the political and economic reforms which are being called for by the Lebanese people which is the only thing which will allow the international community to act efficiently side-by-side with Lebanon in its reconstruction."

The French president thanked Trump and 15 other heads of state for their help, adding that Israel also said it wanted to assist. The U.S. has already committed to providing $17 million in aid for the country to deal with the explosion’s aftermath. 

Tuesday’s explosion in Beirut left at least 158 dead, 6,000 injured and 300,000 homeless. The city’s officials have said thousands of tons of ammonium nitrate was stored at the site of the explosion, and reports have indicated government agencies were warned about the storage. 

The explosion caused protests to break out in the city as tens of thousands demonstrators expressed anger over government officials’ management ahead of the disaster. Demonstrators reportedly threw stones and fireworks at police, sparking officers to release tear gas and rubber bullets on the crowd on Saturday, according to CNN.

The Lebanese Internal Security Forces denied that live fire and rubber bullets were used during the demonstrations, which resulted in more than 200 injuries, according to CNN.

Lebanon officials estimate the explosion led to up to $15 billion in damage in a country that was already struggling economically, BBC reported.