The Foreign Ministry confirmed it would provide additional support to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Internal Security Forces (ISF), a spokesman said Thursday.
“The government has informed Congress of its intention to provide additional support to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Internal Security Forces (ISF) as they respond to a variety of security, economic and public health challenges facing it country is currently facing. ‘ the Foreign Ministry official told Al Arabiya English.
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The State Department first told Congress earlier this year that it planned to redirect $67 million in U.S. military aid earmarked for Lebanon to include “livelihood assistance.”
“We want to ensure that the LAF and ISF are able to carry out their core missions and functions, including defending Lebanon’s territorial integrity, ensuring internal security and maintaining stability,” the official said.
Al Arabiya English reported last week that US lawmakers gave the green light to two separate funds to help Lebanon’s struggling security agencies after months of being held up by the top Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
The support is valid for six months and will help Lebanese soldiers “put food on the table,” a second US official previously told Al Arabiya English.
A separate fund has also been approved for the ISF, which will be less than $67 million. The ISF has around 40,000 troops compared to the LAF’s estimated 80,000 troops.
“Over the past two years, the LAF and ISF have been at the forefront of responding to the deepening crises in Lebanon. We continue to look for ways to support their efforts,” the State Department official said Thursday.
The US Embassy in Beirut tweeted that the United States intends to develop a “livelihood support program” for the two security agencies. “There is still much work to be done to implement the program, but much progress has been made,” the embassy said.
There is still much work to be done to implement the program, but much progress has already been made.
– US Embassy Beirut (@usembassybeirut) July 28, 2022
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