Lebanon makes plea for $1 billion to manage Syrian crisis
Lebanese Prime Minister Tamam Salam (L) and one of Iraq's three Vice Presidents Iyad Allawi (R), attend the opening ceremony of the Second International Humanitarian Pledging Conference for Syria, at Bayan palace in Kuwait City, on March 31,2015. (AFP/File)
Prime Minister Tammam Salam Tuesday pleaded for $1 billion to help Lebanon cope with the Syrian refugee crisis at an international summit in the Kuwaiti capital.
“The anticipated solution must be sustainable and must aim to address the deteriorating situation through financial aid distributed to Syrian refugees displaced [in Lebanon] and must target humanitarian issues in host communities as well,” Salam told the summit.
“Only this path can ease the consequences [of the Syria crisis] on the people of Lebanon," he added.
Salam, on behalf of the Lebanese government, submitted to the Kuwait summit “a plan amounting to over $1 billion” covering development projects for water management, energy, health, education, agriculture and transportation.
He welcomed any suggested amendments to the plan, slated for 2015-2016.
Kuwait opened an international donors' conference for Syria with a pledge of $500 million in humanitarian aid as the United Nations issued its largest yet appeal for $8.4 billion in commitments this year for the war-ravaged country.
Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah made the pledge at the start of the third annual gathering in Kuwait. In his opening remarks, the emir said the Syrian conflict is the "biggest humanitarian crisis in recent history."
The civil war, now in its fifth year, has killed at least 220,000 people and displaced 11 million, according to UN figures. Of the displaced, nearly 4 million have been forced to flee to nearby countries such as Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, stretching resources there to the limit.
As the crisis in Syria continues unabated, the UN says $2.9 billion is needed in 2015 for Syrian people inside the country, and $5.5 billion for those who have fled to the five countries.