Head of the European Commission for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management announced Monday that Lebanon will receive $47,506,400 in aid to help with the Syrian refugee crisis.
“The Commission will be giving Lebanon $47,506,400 in aid to help with the Syrian refugee crisis, equalling humanitarian aid this year to 97 million euros ($107,155,900) in total,” Kristos Stylianides announced from the Grand Serail during a press conference after meeting Prime Minister Tammam Salam. He added Europe delivered a message of support to Lebanon.
Stylianides arrived in Beirut Monday for an official two-day visit. He has met with Salam, Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassil, and it set to meet with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri and Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas. He will also hold meetings with UN, EU and civil society group representatives in Lebanon.
“Lebanon is a partner of Europe and an important member in the refugee crisis, and we must work together in ending it (crisis) together,” he added.
During a meeting with Bassil at the Foreign Ministry, the two also discussed the Syrian refugee crisis and the issue of illegal immigration of Syrians and other foreigners Lebanon has been recently witnessing.
Lebanese security forces have recently arrested a number of human traffickers who have been taking money from refugees in exchange for a promised boat journey from Lebanon to neighboring Turkey, and then into Europe. Most leave from the northern port city of Tripoli.
Europe has witnessed for months a mass influx of refugees from Syria, Iraq, other places across central Asia as well as North Africa, due to conflict or poverty. As many as one million refugees will arrive to Europe before the end of this year according to the EU.
Countries such as Hungary and Poland have refused to accept any more, while countries such as Austria have closed their borders to minimize the influx. Refugees have to cross through the Balkans and other east Europe countries in order to reach central and western Europe, their destination point, but have been kept waiting at borders, sometimes for days.
The UN says that more than 3,000 people crossing the Mediterranean into Europe have died since the beginning of 2015.
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