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Presidency of the Republic of Lebanon

09/16/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 09/16/2021 03:52

President Aoun discussed the existing cooperation between Lebanon and the World Health Organization, and methods of strengthening partnership, with the WHO Director-General.

The President affirmed Lebanese appreciation for the assistance provided by WHO, and hoped to develop cooperation given the great challenges facing Lebanon'.

Ghebressos: 'We will work with the new government to help provide quick and long-term solutions, and to provide the necessary support in any way possible'.

President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, asserted Lebanon's appreciation for the assistance provided by the World Health Organization to the Lebanese, especially during the crises and disasters which were witnessed, foremost of which was the Corona pandemic, in addition to the two disasters: the Beirut Port explosion and the explosion the fuel tank in Tleil region, Akkar. 'These explosions struck Lebanon while facing and unprecedented economic disaster' President Aoun said.

The President hoped to develop the relationship and cooperation between Lebanon and the WHO, and that the visit of its Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebressos to Lebanon, would push things in this direction, given the great challenges which Lebanon faces in addition to the repercussions of the financial, economic, health and humanitarian crises which have heavily weighed on state institutions and Lebanese people.

Stances of the President came while meeting the WHO Director-General, who was heading a delegation including: WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr. Ahmed Bin Salem Al-Manthari, Deputy Special Coordinator of the United Nations in Lebanon and United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ms. Najat Rushdie, WHO Representative in Lebanon, Dr. Iman Al-Shanqiti, and Program Director at the WHO Regional Office for the Eastern Mediterranean, Dr. Rana Hajje.

The meeting addressed the existing cooperation between Lebanon and the WHO, and the methods of strengthening partnership in the coming period, especially after the formation of the new government.

Gebressos's Statement:

'We had a very good and productive discussion with His Excellency, the President, and before that we also held a very good and productive discussion with the new Health Minister.

As you know there is a new government now, after 13 months. We are glad that we are here when the new government is formed and we congratulated the President for forming this new government. I assured the President and the Health Minister that we will work with the new government to help with the immediate solutions and long term ones.

As you know there are serious challenges in Lebanon, such as shortage in medical supplies, shortage of fuel, banking problems, water provision problems, and electricity problems. These problems actually affect the health conditions of the Lebanese. We also agreed on what to do in the short term, and what can also be done on the long term. Based on the government's visions, we would be happy to support in every possible way. While discussing the general issues, which I outlined, we discussed COVID situation. Lebanon is actually doing well with COVID. The situation is now better than the last wave, and the vaccination percentage is now reaching 30%. The coverage compared to the global target is very well. Other things can also be reversed and we will support in any way possible.

Having said this, I now would like to invite my Regional Director and brother, Dr. Ahmad Manthari, to say a few words'.

Manthari Statement:

'This visit came, thank God, in a suitable timing from the WHO Director General, Dr. Tedros, and the specialized team of the regional office, when the new government is formed. We hope all the success for the new government. It is very known that Lebanon and all countries, faced huge difficulties in addressing this pandemic. However, thank God through a year and a half cooperation is still ongoing with all specialized authorities to tackle this pandemic, and Lebanon was capable to implement the principles of science and public health, starting diagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

This visit comes to assert to all concerned authorities and the government on the WHO's stand next to the Lebanese. We are sure that Lebanon, as we know throughout history, will emerge from this pandemic which the country is witnessing. We hope to learn every important lesson through what the brotherly Lebanon is passing through.

It is also well-know that Lebanon is strong with its people, rich history, and national wealth, regardless of its strategic location. We assure you that we will always be with you step by step to emerge from this pandemic.

Finally, I would like to say that healthcare is everyone's responsibility, not only the responsibility of the Public Health Ministry. The healthcare system requires unifying all efforts, in governmental and non-governmental organizations.

Thank you'.