Naharnet

Derbas: Lebanon to Ask for $2.1 Billion in Aid at Kuwait Conference

Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas has said that Lebanon will ask the international community for 2.1 billion dollars in assistance at the Kuwait donors conference this month.

Derbas, who on Wednesday attended a ministerial meeting for the refugee crisis cell under Prime Minister Tammam Salam, told al-Liwaa newspaper that Lebanon aims to urge the assistance to help it resolve problems linked to the displaced Syrians on the course of two years.

According to As Safir daily published on Thursday, 37 percent of the assistance that Lebanon will ask for will be allocated for government spending and the remaining 63 percent will cover humanitarian cases such as aid to Lebanon's most vulnerable communities and the refugees.

The conference will be held in Kuwait on March 31. Salam will head the Lebanese delegation to the conference and will be accompanied by Derbas,

The Gulf state has hosted previous such conferences in the past two years which saw pledges of around $4 billion in aid, including $800 million from Kuwait.

But U.N. humanitarian agencies have complained that many donors have not followed through on pledges, forcing them to cut assistance to millions of Syrians.

The social affairs minister also told al-Liwaa that the measures taken by the Lebanese authorities to stop the flow of more refugees have “stabilized.”

No new refugees entered Lebanon starting February, said Derbas although Lebanon welcomed Syrian Assyrians after the Islamic State extremist group overran a cluster of their villages in Hassakeh last month.

The IS also took at least 220 Christians hostage. Around 25 have been released since, but the fate of the remaining captives is unclear.

G.K.

H.K.


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