The below is attributable to Spokesperson Jessica Jennings:
Today, Administrator Samantha Power concluded her multi-day visit to Lebanon with a series of meetings and events in Beirut.
Administrator Power began her day by meeting with U.S. Embassy and USAID employees. She thanked them for their dedication and work advancing the United States’ relationship with Lebanon, their support for the Lebanese people in a period of crisis, and the recent accomplishment of finalizing the agreement establishing a permanent Israel-Lebanon maritime boundary.
Next, Administrator Power visited the American University of Beirut (AUB) where she met with students from AUB and the Lebanese American University (LAU) who have received financial support from USAID for their undergraduate education. She celebrated the individual achievements of the students and discussed with them the impact they can achieve as a new generation of public and private sector leaders in Lebanon. Administrator Power also announced that the United States will provide an additional $50 million for new scholarships and financial aid to AUB, LAU, and Notre Dame University-Louaize.
Administrator Power met with Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati to discuss U.S.-Lebanon relations, and the importance of urgent action to respond to the economic crisis, elect a President and form a Cabinet, and make advances on economic reforms. In her discussions, Administrator Power congratulated Lebanon on concluding the historic maritime agreement and urged officials to capitalize on this moment of progress to pursue steps that will restore domestic and international confidence in Lebanon’s economy.
Administrator Power also visited the Port of Beirut, where she saw the visible devastation that still remains from the explosion two years ago. During her visit to the Port, she observed ships unloading critically-needed grain from Ukraine. Compounding shocks, including the destruction of grain silos in the port blast and Putin’s war against Ukraine, have caused the price of bread to skyrocket to about nine times higher than it was in the fall of 2019, and grain shipments from Ukraine play an important role in helping address the food insecurity being experienced by many Lebanese families.
The Administrator then departed for Sharm el-Sheik, Egypt to attend the 27th United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP27).