At the Stockholm Conference on Lebanon's Recovery, Randall Tobias, director of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said the United States is heavily involved in helping the Lebanese rebuild.
"A democratic, secure, and prosperous Lebanon," said Mr. Tobias, "is in the best interest of the entire global community." It is the best "defense against the recurrence of instability and war."
Across Lebanon, the United States is assisting thousands of people whose homes were damaged during the conflict between Hezbollah terrorists and Israel. For families whose homes were severely damaged, the U.S. is providing temporary shelter. The U.S. is also helping to repair schools in Baalbek, Hasbaya, Sidon, Tyre, Beirut, El Khaim, and Andaisse.
According to Ambassador Tobias, recovery in that region hinges on making the fishing industry viable again. To that end, the U.S. is helping to clean up oil spills in the Mediterranean triggered by the fighting. The U.S. is also providing nets, hooks, and other materials to thousands of Lebanese fishermen. Altogether, the United States has committed two-hundred-thirty-million dollars in assistance to the Lebanese people.
President George W. Bush says the U.S. "is wasting no time":
"We've been on the ground in Beirut for weeks, and I've already distributed more than half of our fifty-million dollar pledge of disaster relief to the Lebanese people who have lost their homes in the current conflict. I directed twenty-five-thousand tons of wheat be delivered in Lebanon in the coming weeks."
The United States, says President Bush, "is making a long-term commitment to help the people of Lebanon because we believe every person deserves to live in a free, open society that respects the rights of all."
The preceding was an editorial reflecting the views of the United States Government.