Thursday, August 31, 2006

Stockholm Conferences on Lebanon's Early Recovery and the Humanitarian Situation


The following message you can read on the homepage of the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Denmark does not participate as a host nation in this conference. And the event is not being covered very much in Danish media. One may wonder why, but cosmic duck is not a one to ask silly questions!

On 31 August and 1 September, Sweden will host two conferences at the Grand Hôtel in Stockholm. Ministers and senior officials from main donor countries and international organisations are expected to attend.
The Lebanon conference is an answer to the call in UN Security Council Resolution 1701 for immediate steps to extend financial and humanitarian assistance to the Lebanese people. The Government of Sweden is arranging the conference in close collaboration with the Government of Lebanon and with support from the United Nations. The World Bank and the European Commission have also been consulted in the preparations of the conference.
Stockholm Donor Conference on the Humanitarian Situation in the Palestinian Territories is a response to the reviewed UN humanitarian appeal for the Palestinian territories, as yet underfinanced despite great and growing humanitarian needs, especially in Gaza. The conference is held in collaboration with Norway and Spain, in consultation with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
.

The conference already appears to be a success. A larger amount of money than anticipated has been raised according to the BBC:

The Lebanon donor conference in Stockholm has raised more than $940m in pledges of new money, Swedish Foreign Minister Jan Eliasson has said.
The organisers of the aid conference had set a target of $500m.
The new pledges bring the total amount of money raised to help with the rebuilding of Lebanon to $1.2bn.
PM Fouad Siniora told the meeting his country had sustained billions of dollars of damages during the 34-day war between Israel and Hezbollah.
Mr Siniora said Lebanon's recovery from its civil war had been "wiped out in days"
.

On the Danish ministry of foreign affairs homepage there's only a brief message, and it is announced that about 4 mio $ has been appropriated for the rebuilding of Lebanon, and this amount has been increased by 3 mio.

The BBC article also writes about the Israeli use of cluster bombs, a matter Danish media has not been very noisy about:

On Wednesday the UN's humanitarian chief, Jan Egeland, condemned the "completely immoral" way Israel dropped thousands of cluster bombs on Lebanon even as a resolution appeared imminent

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