BEIRUT, Lebanon 

French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday called for accelerating aid delivery to Lebanon in the wake of Tuesday’s explosion at the Beirut port.

“Aid should go directly to the people on the ground,” Macron said at the opening of a virtual emergency donors’ conference for Lebanon.

“We must act quickly and efficiently so that the aid goes directly to where it is needed,” he said. “Lebanon’s future is at stake… we must establish an International response under the UN coordination.”

The French leader went on to call on the Lebanese authorities to respond to the people’s demands but also warned that “violence and chaos must not prevail.”

At least 158 people were killed and over 6,000 injured when a massive explosion rocked the Beirut port, causing a vast trail of destruction across the city.

Following the blast, Macron visited Beirut on Thursday where he met with top Lebanese officials and vowed to provide assistance to Lebanon.

Several Lebanese politicians and parties have called for an international investigation into the blast.

The government has formed a committee to probe the incident, which happened as Lebanon was reeling under its worst economic crisis, as well as dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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