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“A Humanitarian Ship for Lebanon”: Emmanuel Macron praises the commitment of French companies, NGOs and public institutions taking part in the CMA CGM Foundation’s initiative

  • At the port of Beirut, French President Emmanuel Macron and Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, attended the unloading, from the Aknoul, of humanitarian aid destined to help the Lebanese people.
  • Medical and hygiene equipment, building materials and food are being distributed to 18 NGOs, four hospitals and the Lebanese Red Cross.
  • The relief operation is being led by the CMA CGM Foundation in partnership with the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs’ Crisis and Support Centre.

During his official trip to Lebanon on September 1, Emmanuel Macron visited the port of Beirut where the Aknoul, a roll-on roll-off ship belonging to the CMA CGM Group, was unloading its cargo of humanitarian supplies. Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, made a presentation to the French President about the humanitarian operation, named “A Humanitarian Ship for Lebanon.” Also present were Tanya Saadé Zeenny, President of the CMA CGM Foundation, representatives of donors (Saint Gobain and Sanofi) and representatives of the NGOs receiving the humanitarian aid (including Beit el Baraka, Arcenciel, Offre Joie and the Lebanese Food Bank).

Donations to help meet the essential needs of the Lebanese people

The Aknoul was fully loaded, and its cargo consisted of donations from more than 70 organizations in France:

  • one third consisted of building materials and various items including:
    • 16 vehicles, comprising 1 bus, 9 utility vehicles, 3 ambulances and 3 handling vehicles,
    • 76 generators donated by Kohler-SDMO to the Red Cross,
    • 270 pallets of Marseille red tiles, donated by Point P to help with the reconstruction of Beirut.
  • one third consisted of food, including:
    • 392 000 products of baby and medical food and mineral water donated by Danone to the NGO Beit el Baraka,
    • 51 tons of flour sent by Axiane Meneurie,
    • 28 pallets of food (flour, sugar, rice, tuna, pasta, bulgur wheat, chick peas etc.) donated by Sodexo to the NGO Caritas.
  • one third consisted of medicines, medical equipment and hygiene products, including:
    • 9 pallets of medicines donated by Sanofi and its Foundation to UNICEF Lebanon,
    • 25 pallets of medical equipment (masks, gloves, alcohol hand sanitizer and swabs) donated by Orpea-Clinea to the Hôtel Dieu de France hospital,
    • Several dozen pallets of medical equipment, respirators and hospital beds donated by several French hospitals to their counterparts in Lebanon.

A humanitarian relief operation involving donations to renowned NGOs and hospitals in Lebanon

Recipients included:

  • Charities and humanitarians organizations specializing in humanitarian aid: Lebanese Red Cross, UNICEF Lebanon, Arcenciel, Offre Joie, Lebanese Food Bank, Beit el Baraka, Caritas, SOS Village d’enfants, Nusaned, Libami, Order of Malta Lebanon, Darb el Sama health center, Nabaa community health center, La Maison Providence, Lebanese Association of Victims of Terrorism, OMCFAA (association of French Catholic missions in Asia and Africa), APSAD (association for the protection of ancient buildings and sites), etc.
  • Lebanese hospitals: Hôtel Dieu de France, American University of Beirut Medical Center, Geitaoui Hospital and Saint George Hospital University Medical Center.

Distributing aid: transparency and traceability

To distribute the Aknoul’s humanitarian cargo, the CMA CGM Group used the expertise of its CEVA Logistics subsidiary, which is leading the port operations and transferring the donations by road to the Beirut Hippodrome, where they will be distributed to NGOs. The transfer of supplies to the Hippodrome is being supervised by the Lebanese army. Final distribution is being overseen by the French Embassy in Lebanon, with each recipient signing receipts for donations received. Donors will therefore make sure that their donations are distributed to their designated recipients.

The Group is confirming its support for Lebanon and its people by maintaining its shipping services

CMA CGM resumed operations at the port of Beirut on 10 August. Every week, 9 CMA CGM ships call in Beirut and 3 in Tripoli. As a result, the CMA CGM Group’s shipping services are carrying essential supplies to the Lebanese people and supporting the resumption of the country’s export activities.

Humanitarian operation

The day after the tragic explosion that hit Beirut, the CMA CGM Group reacted swiftly by arranging the transportation of an emergency response team and emergency medical equipment to the city. Rodolphe Saadé saw the extent of the damage when he visited Beirut alongside the French President on August 6. In response, the CMA CGM Group, via its Foundation, decided to take action in solidarity with the Lebanese people, deploying one of its ships, free of charge, to carry humanitarian supplies.

This relief operation, called “A Humanitarian Ship for Lebanon,” was organized in partnership with the Crisis and Support Centre of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the French Embassy in Lebanon and has involved:

The collection of donations: the CMA CGM Group’s Foundation and teams worked to attract and bring together more than 70 donations from companies, NGOs, French public-sector bodies and individuals.

– One third of the donations consists of building materials such as tiles, cement, fiberglass and plasterboard.

– One third consists of food staples such as flour, cereals and grain.

– One third consists of medicines, medical equipment and various aid items.

A dedicated task force: a joint operation between CMA CGM and the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs was set up in Marseille and Beirut to assess proposed donations, vet the NGOs and other entities that would receive them and organize transport as quickly as possible.

Identification of recipients: each donation was analysed in cooperation with the French Embassy in Lebanon, which certified the donation and specified its recipient in Beirut. Recipients comprise NGOs and partners that are recognized for their efforts in Lebanon.

Centralization of donations: the CMA CGM Group used its logistical expertise to collect donations in warehouses, place them into containers and load them onto the Aknoul.

Transportation of donations by sea: the Aknoul, a roll-on roll-off ship owned by the CMA CGM Group, is perfectly suited to transporting humanitarian supplies. It left Marseille for Beirut on August 25, fully loaded with containers, vehicles (ambulances, utility vehicles and handling vehicles) and pallets.

Delivery of humanitarian supplies: in Beirut, the CMA CGM Group is organizing port operations and the transfer of relief supplies by road to the Beirut Hippodrome, where they will be distributed to NGOs and hospitals. The transfer to the Hippodrome is being supervised by the Lebanese army. Final distribution is being overseen by the French Embassy in Lebanon.

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