Germany donates $14 million to Lebanon for Syrian refugees
Niebel, according to a statement from Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour’s office, said “Germany intends to offer financial assistance of $14.5 million for UNHCR, UNICEF and UNFPA to support their efforts and continue their work helping the Lebanese state on the issue of Syrian refugees.”
Abu Faour briefed Niebel on Lebanon’s action plan that was approved by the Cabinet last week to cope with the growing number of Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their home country.
The U.N. appealed Wednesday in Geneva for $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid to cope with the crisis in Syria and said the number of displaced could rise to 1 million in the next six months.
According to the latest report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are 164,000 Syrian refugees registered with the U.N. agency in Lebanon.
The government voiced concern Wednesday over the growing number of displaced in Lebanon, which already hosts half a million Palestinians in refugee camps nationwide.
In addition, some 3,000 Palestinians crossed into Lebanon last week following heavy bombardment on the Yarmouk Refugee Camp, Syria’s largest.
During his meeting with Niebel, Abu Faour assured the German official that Lebanon’s borders would remain open in the face of refugees but that the country needs help in humanitarian aid.
The two ministers voiced support for improved border controls to limit the refugee influx into the country, saying that Lebanon could not cope with such a growing number of newcomers.
Niebel, who arrived in Lebanon Saturday, will take a close look at the activities of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) – the U.N. body tasked with Palestinian refugee affairs – and the relief effort to Syrian refugee children by the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF).
He is also expected to meet with representatives from the German marine division of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, according to a statement by UNICEF.