UN Humanitarian Chief calls for greater support for affected Lebanese communities and Syrian refugees in Lebanon
(Beirut/New York, 4 April 2014) UN Humanitarian Chief Valerie Amos ended her visit to Lebanon today calling for greater support for the people of Lebanon who are experiencing increasing challenges as a result of the Syria crisis, as well as continuing support to Syrian refugees. As the crisis enters its fourth year, Lebanon is now home to a million registered Syrian refugees, about half of them children.
“The impact on Lebanon has been tremendous and it continues to have a negative effect on the country’s economic, political and social well-being,” said Ms. Amos. “We must do more to support the people and Government of Lebanon as they are struggling to meet increased demand for services like health, education, electricity, and water and sanitation. We should not take their generosity for granted.”
Ms. Amos visited Syrian refugee families in Wadi Khaled in Lebanon’s northernmost province of Akkar and in Minieh district near Tripoli. Some communities that were already vulnerable have seen their populations doubled since the start of the Syria crisis.
“Many Syrian families I met have been here for over two years and are finding it increasingly difficult to cope,” said Ms. Amos. “I spoke to children whose parents cannot afford to pay for them to go to school. It is such a waste. An entire generation is at risk.”
Ms. Amos met with key Government officials including President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassile to discuss ways the international community can continue to support Lebanon.
Three months into the year, only 14 per cent of the $1.7 billion needed by agencies and humanitarian partners for their relief efforts in Lebanon has been received.
For further information, please call:
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.