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Feds create task force to help Canadians return home from Beirut

Click to play video 'What is ammonium nitrate? The fertilizer behind the Beirut explosion' What is ammonium nitrate? The fertilizer behind the Beirut explosion
WATCH: What is ammonium nitrate? The fertilizer behind the Beirut explosion

The federal government has set up a task force to help Canadian citizens and permanent residents get home from Lebanon following last week’s devastating explosion in Beirut.

The government says the task force will support the delivery of consular services to those in Lebanon to ensure that questions related to immigration can be quickly addressed.

Read more: Funerals, protests grip Lebanon a week after Beirut explosion

It will also allow Lebanese citizens in Canada to extend their stay here if they are unable to return home because of the deadly explosion.

As well, the government says it will waive the cost of documents related both to the renewal of visitors’ status in Canada and for Canadians and permanent residents in Lebanon who need to come home.

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The measures follow last week’s announcement of $30 million in humanitarian and development assistance for the people of Lebanon.

Click to play video 'Beirut explosion: Members of Canadian parliament observe minute of silence in solidarity with victims' Beirut explosion: Members of Canadian parliament observe minute of silence in solidarity with victims
Beirut explosion: Members of Canadian parliament observe minute of silence in solidarity with victims

The blast, blamed on negligent storage of tonnes of ammonium nitrate, killed more than 200 people, injured thousands more and levelled large swaths of Beirut.