August 9, 2020, 04.06 PM

Economic meltdown

The explosion hit a city still scarred by civil war and reeling from an economic meltdown and a surge in coronavirus infections.

For many, it was a dreadful reminder of the 1975-1990 civil war that tore the nation apart and destroyed swathes of Beirut, much of which had since been rebuilt.

Some residents, struggling to clean up shattered homes, complain the government has let them down again.

"We have no trust in our government," said university student Celine Dibo as she scrubbed blood off the walls of her shattered apartment building. "I wish the United Nations would take over Lebanon."

Read also: World Bank Offers Recovery Assistance Following Beirut Explosion

Many people denounced their leaders, saying none of them visited the site of the blast to comfort them or assess the damage while French President Emmanuel Macron flew from Paris and went straight to the scene to pay his tribute.

Macron, who visited Beirut on Thursday, promised aid to rebuild the city.

He will host a donor conference for Lebanon via video link on Sunday, his office said. US President Donald Trump said that he will join.

"We don't want any government to help us," said unemployed protester Mahmoud Rifai. "The money will just go into the pockets of our leaders."

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