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UN to boost humanitarian funding to ease Syria crisis burden in Lebanon

March 07, 2015, 15h21
 Syrian refugee children
Syrian refugee children at the Halba Community Centre in northern Lebanon. Photo: OCHA/D. Palanivelu
The continuing influx of refugees fleeing from the Syrian conflict is burdening Lebanon’s infrastructure and economy and threatening the country’s stability, the United Nations humanitarian chief said today.

“Lebanon has shown generosity in hosting some 1.2 million refugees from Syria. No country can handle such a burden on its own,” Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos said in a press release issued following her recent visit to the Middle Eastern country.

“I hope that in the upcoming Kuwait 3 pledging conference support will be given to Lebanon to assist the Government in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable Lebanese and refugees from Syria.”

According to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Lebanon is the country with the highest ratio of refugees per capita in the world and is increasingly beleaguered as the Syrian crisis stretches into its fifth year. The country’s public services are overstretched, economic growth has slowed and unemployment is rising. As social tensions grow, OCHA noted, Lebanon “needs international support to maintain its stability.”

During her visit to Lebanon, Ms. Amos met with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and assured him that the UN is committed to supporting the country’s stability by scaling up international assistance and implementing the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, which aims to deliver protection and humanitarian assistance to displaced Syrian families and encourages investment in Lebanese social services. The Plan itself seeks $2.14 billion and seeks to reach up to 2.9 million people.

“Humanitarian workers in Syria are supporting people caught between the warring parties, and who continue to be subjected to extreme violence and brutality,” Ms. Amos continued. “Millions of people have been displaced multiple times inside the country and millions more have fled to neighbouring countries. They are desperate to find security and safety.”

The Lebanon Crisis Response Plan will also help provide a boost to assistance already funded by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which covers humanitarian work throughout the Middle East and beyond. The vast majority of CERF money – some $77.5 million – will be directed towards countries affected by the Syria crisis. Syria itself will receive the largest single allocation, at $30 million, with the number of people there who need humanitarian assistance snowballing from one million four years ago to over 12 million today.

The remainder is to be spread between Lebanon, which receives $18 million, Jordan and Turkey, receiving $9 million each, Iraq, which is allocated $8 million, and Egypt, where $3.5 million will be channelled.

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#Syrian_refugees, #Syrian_refugees_in_Lebanon
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