Several countries have joined in international efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Lebanon after last week's devastation of the Beirut port.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosted a remote donor conference today attended by nearly 30 countries as well as the EU and Arab League.

The total figure of "emergency aid pledged or that can be mobilised quickly" amounts to €252.7 million including €30 million from France, President Emmanuel Macron's office said.

The UN had earlier said some €100 million will be needed over the next three months for health services, emergency shelter, food distribution and programmes to prevent further spread of Covid-19, among other interventions.

US President Donald Trump, without stating a figure, said Washington "stands ready and willing to continue providing aid to help the people of Lebanon in their recovery".

The White House statement did not provide figures, but the US government has announced $15 million in aid so far.

French President Emmanuel Macron hosting the virtual aid conference today

The European Commission added another €30 million to the €33 million it had already announced.

"As needs rise we are providing humanitarian support to hundreds of thousands of the most vulnerable people," commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic said in a statement.

Other donors include Britain (£20m) Norway (€6.5m), Denmark (€20m) and Switzerland with €3.7m.

"The objective today is to act quickly and effectively to coordinate our aid on the ground so that it goes as efficiently as possible to the Lebanese people," Mr Macron told the conference.

Mr Macron was the first world leader to visit Beirut after Tuesday's devastating explosion which killed at least 158 people, wounded some 6,000 and left an estimated 300,000 homeless.

The Lebanese army's Colonel Roger Khoury, who was leading a rescue team at the blast site, said today that "we have fading hopes of finding survivors".

The catastrophe has revived the mass anti-government protests that had for months demanded the wholesale removal of Lebanon's political elite, until coronavirus lockdown measures brought an uneasy calm.

Some of the devastation caused by Tuesday's massive explosion in Beirut

This afternoon, hundreds of demonstrators gathered again in and around Martyrs' Square, a short walk from the site of the blast.

Police fired tear gas in an attempt to disperse protesters hurling stones and shooting fireworks near an access street to parliament, AFP correspondents reported.

Protesters had briefly taken over several government ministries the previous night, while security forces scuffled with larger crowds converging on the epicentre of the protests.

Human Rights Watch's Lebanon researcher Aya Majzoub said some security forces had responded by indiscriminately firing tear gas and rubber bullets.

"Instead of deploying the army to help residents clear rubble from their homes, businesses, and communities, the Lebanese authorities chose to deploy them and other security forces against protesters," she said.

Saturday's violence injured 65 people, according to the Lebanese Red Cross, while lawyers supporting protesters said security forces made 20 arrests.

Protesters on the streets of Beirut for the second night in a row

The August 4 explosion came as Lebanon was already reeling from an economic crisis that has seen its currency collapse, plunging swathes of its population into poverty.

The fury on the streets of Beirut has further shaken the embattled government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, which saw its first cabinet resignation when the information minister, Manal Abdel Samad, quit today.

"After the enormous Beirut catastrophe, I announce my resignation from government," she said, apologising to citizens for having failed them.

Last year, Ireland donated $2.2m (approx €1.9m) to the Lebanon Humanitarian Fund.