BEIRUT – A CMA CGM cargo ship filled with humanitarian supplies for Beirut, still staggering after last month’s horrific explosion at its port, arrived today at its destination.
French President Emmanuel Macron visited the Port of Beirut today where the Aknoul, a CMA CGM roll-on-roll-off ship was unloading its cargo of emergency humanitarian supplies. Rodolphe Saadé, CEO of the CMA CGM Group, and Tanya Saadé Zeenny, President of the CMA CGM Foundation joined the French President at the port.
“A Humanitarian Ship for Lebanon”
Last month on August 4th, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut exploded, causing at least 190 deaths, 6,500 injuries and US$10–15 billion in property damage. It also left an estimated 300,000 people homeless and destroyed at least three hospitals in the city of 2.4 million as it also struggles to deal with COVID-19.
The day after the explosion the CMA CGM Group, owner of the third-largest container shipping fleet in the world, announced an emergency aid program in partnership with the French government called “A Humanitarian Ship for Lebanon”. The purpose of the operation was to deliver desperately needed aid supplies to the city to help its recovery.
CMA CGM is bearing all shipping and port operation costs and has provided a storage facility in Marseille where donated supplies were being collected as they arrived from various companies and organizations in France.
The Aknoul arrived in Beirut fully loaded carrying a cargo that consisted of donations from more than 70 organizations in France. The medical and hygiene equipment, building materials and food it delivered are being distributed to 18 NGOs, four hospitals and the Lebanese Red Cross.
One third consisted of building materials and various items including:
- 16 vehicles, comprising 1 bus, 9 utility vehicles, 3 ambulances and 3 handling vehicles,
- 76 generators donated by Kohler-SDMO to the Red Cross,
- 270 pallets of Marseille red tiles, donated by Point P to help with the reconstruction of Beirut.
One third consisted of food, including:
- 392 000 products of baby and medical food and mineral water donated by Danone to the NGO Beit el Baraka,
- 51 tons of flour sent by Axiane Meneurie,
- 28 pallets of food (flour, sugar, rice, tuna, pasta, bulgur wheat, chick peas etc.) donated by Sodexo to the NGO Caritas.
One third consisted of medicines, medical equipment and hygiene products, including:
- 9 pallets of medicines donated by Sanofi and its Foundation to UNICEF Lebanon,
- 25 pallets of medical equipment (masks, gloves, alcohol hand sanitizer and swabs) donated by Orpea-Clinea to the Hôtel Dieu de France hospital,
- Several dozen pallets of medical equipment, respirators and hospital beds donated by several French hospitals to their counterparts in Lebanon.
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