Acting USAID Administrator John Barsa's Travel to Beirut, Lebanon

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Acting USAID Administrator John Barsa in Beirut


For Immediate Release

Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email:

U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Acting Administrator John Barsa visited the Lebanese Republic from August 10-12, 2020, to assess the situation on the ground following the catastrophic explosion at the Port of Beirut and observe the efforts to respond to the disaster.

While in Beirut, Acting Administrator Barsa met with U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Dorothy Shea to discuss the U.S. Government's support for the Lebanese people after the explosion, which now totals $18 million in humanitarian assistance provided by USAID and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). Acting Administrator Barsa also met with the USAID Disaster-Assistance Response Team that is coordinating U.S. humanitarian efforts on the ground. He also visited the Port of Beirut to survey damage caused by the explosion, as well as an emergency food-distribution site managed by the World Food Programme, which the United States is funding through USAID to provide food assistance to support 300,000 people affected by the blast.

On August 11, 2020, Acting Administrator Barsa also oversaw the arrival of U.S.-funded emergency medical kits provided through USAID and airlifted to Beirut by DoD, each of which contains enough medicine and medical supplies to support 60,000 people.

During his visit, Acting Administrator Barsa announced that the American University of Beirut and the Lebanese American University (LAU) will receive a total of nearly $4 million through USAID's Office of American Schools and Hospitals Abroad. The funding will replace much-needed diagnostic and surgical equipment and restore the medical and pharmaceutical laboratories at LAU after the destruction caused by the tragic explosion earlier this week.

While in Beirut, Acting Administrator Barsa reiterated the U.S. Government's commitment to the people of Lebanon as they seek relief, immediate reform, transparency, and accountability in this difficult time. The American people remain committed to our long-standing support for the Lebanese people and their pursuit of economic prosperity and citizen-responsible, accountable governance, free of corruption, and foreign pressure.