Aftermath of a massive explosion is seen in in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2020. International Development Minister Karina says Ottawa is increasing its financial commitment to match individual donations from Canadians for humanitarian relief in Lebanon following a deadly explosion two weeks ago in Beirut. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Hassan Ammar

Canada increases matching fund for Beirut aid in response to UN appeal

Ottawa is upping the amount of money it will put to matching donations from Canadians for humanitarian relief in Lebanon following a deadly explosion in Beirut.

The federal government is now committing to match up to $8 million in individual contributions made by Aug. 24 to established aid organizations working in Lebanon.

Ottawa had originally earmarked $2 million for the matching fund, before expanding it to $5 million last week.

The money is part of a $30-million commitment to provide emergency aid to Lebanon following the blast at a port in the country’s capital on Aug. 4, which killed 180 people, injured about 6,000 and has left nearly 300,000 people homeless.

International Development Minister Karina Gould says the government is also allocating $13.5 million of this to UN humanitarian agencies and to the Lebanese Red Cross.

She says the money is in response to a US$565 million appeal the UN launched last week to help Lebanese people affected by the explosion with immediate humanitarian assistance and initial recovery efforts.

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