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UN, Italy sign deal to repair Beirut train station, blast-affected houses

An Italian agency and the UN have signed a two-year agreement to repair the Mar Mikhael railway station in the Lebanese capital of Beirut and the housing units damaged by the 2020 blasts at the Beirut port.

The agreement, which is estimated to be worth 2.3 million euros ($2.37 million), was signed between the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) on Wednesday.

Italian Ambassador to Lebanon, Nicoletta Bombardier, who signed the agreement on behalf of the Italian agency, said the project “will allow people in Beirut to re-discover the old train station of Mar Mikhael and its historical relevance”.

She added that Italy would remain committed to responding to Lebanese people’s basic needs, such as social housing, and restoring the cultural and social fabric of the neighbourhoods affected by the blasts, which killed more than 200 people and wounded more than 6,000 others on August 4, 2020, Xinhua news agency reported.

For her part, Taina Christiansen, Head of UN-Habitat Lebanon Country Programme, said the UN body would work with Italy to rehabilitate the Mar Mikhael train station and provide adequate housing for those who were affected by the blasts.

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