Lebanon Remains a 'Priority' but World Response for Refugee Aid Remains Weak
The U.N. chief's Deputy Special Coordinator for Lebanon, Philippe Lazzarini, has lamented that the response of the international community to the needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and other countries is weak.
In an interview with An Nahar daily published on Wednesday, Lazzarini said: “The response does not meet the needs.”
He said the World Food Program has recently warned that it would suspend its operations starting November not just in Lebanon and Jordan but in Syria too if it does not receive new funding.
An Nahar did not expect for Lebanon to receive additional aid to help it confront the refugee burden during the meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon that is scheduled to take place in New York on Wednesday.
Lazzarini said the meeting is aimed at sending a message that Lebanon remains a “priority on the agenda of the international community.”
But he lamented that several international grants have been frozen because of the government's failure to approve them.
Nineteen countries said Tuesday that they are donating $1.8 billion to the top U.N. aid organizations to help alleviate the suffering of migrants and refugees in camps near Mideast areas of turmoil.
The initiative organized by Germany was announced by Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Antonio Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Thanking donor countries, Guterres said U.N. aid agencies "were financially broke" because of the growing burdens caused by the conflicts in the Mideast. The aid will primarily help refugees in camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
The donors include the U.S. and other members of the G-7 group of leading industrial states, other European countries and wealthy Gulf nations, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.