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US will give substantial aid to Lebanon, but declines to give a dollar figure, said Trump

New Jersey: U.S. President Donald Trump on Sunday said the U.S. will give "substantial" aid to Lebanon, although he did not specify how much the United States would provide.

An emergency donor conference on Sunday for blast-stricken Lebanon raised pledges worth nearly 253 million euros ($298 million) for immediate humanitarian relief, the French presidency said. World powers promised not to fail the Lebanese people as the capital, Beirut, recovers from the massive explosion that killed 158 people and destroyed swathes of the city last Tuesday. Lebanon was already mired in political and financial crisis before the blast.

But foreign countries demanded transparency over how the aid is used, wary of writing blank checks to a government viewed by its own people as deeply corrupt. Some are concerned about the influence of Iran through the Shi'ite group Hezbollah. 
The explosion gutted entire neighborhoods, leaving 250,000 people homeless, razing businesses and destroying critical grain supplies. Rebuilding Beirut will likely run into the billions of dollars. Economists forecast the blast could wipe up to 25 percent off of the country's GDP.

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