Germany Vows to Resume Support to Lebanon over Refugees Crisis

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Germany is keen to continue supporting Lebanon to help it confront the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, visiting Christoph Strasser, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, said on Thursday.

“Germany wants to sense the real situation in Lebanon in the presence of more than one million Syrian refugees,” Strasser told reporters after talks with Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil at the Bustros Palace.

He pointed out that the two officials discussed new forms of solidarity offered by the international community in an attempt to share the refugees burden with Lebanon.

“It was an open discussion in which the Lebanese side briefed us on valuable information that should be conveyed to the German government and the European Union.”

In May, German FM Frank-Walter Steinmeier made a two-day visit that included talks with Lebanese officials on the Syrian refugee crisis.

Strasser hailed the efforts exerted by the Lebanese authority to aid the Syrian people during the past two years.

“Germany granted Lebanon during this period around 130 million euros and will resume its support,” Strasser said.

He revealed that his country will also host several conferences on the matter.

Asked about a possible Lebanese decision to establish camps for Syrian refugees outside Lebanese territories or in buffer zones along the border with Syria, the German official said that he didn't discuss the proposal with Bassil.

“I've heard about such a suggestion, which will be the center point of upcoming meetings during the next few months.”

Lebanon currently hosts 1.1 million refugees, the highest number at 38 percent of Syrian refugees fleeing the war-torn country for other countries in the region.

The U.N. says the country needs $1.6 billion (1.2 billion euros) for 2014 to be able to cope with the refugee crisis, but that only 23 percent of this has been gathered.

According to Central Bank of Lebanon statistics, the country faces a financial burden of $4.5 billion because of the refugee crisis.

In May, the Lebanese authorities took a decision to ban Syrian refugees from heading to their country or lose their status.



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