Ninette Kelley, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) representative in Lebanon, stressed on Tuesday that the United Nations is looking forward to a Lebanese plan that supports the refugees with the necessary humanitarian aid, in addition to the hosting communities.
“Lebanon has launched a seventh plan to support refugees and it is not only seeking humanitarian aid but also a development fund to help the country cope with difficult times it is passing through,” Kelley said in an interview with An Nahar newspaper.
The diplomat told the daily that the $1.4 billion of the donations will be used to aid one million poor families on Lebanese territories, Lebanese, Palestinians and Syrian.
Kelley pointed out that the remaining donations will be spent on development projects carried out by municipalities.
Lebanon and the U.N. had launched on Monday a Crisis Response Plan that calls for an estimated $2.1 billion to help the country cope with the fallout from the conflict in neighboring Syria.
Lebanon has taken in more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees since the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in March 2011. That influx has put a severe strain on Lebanon's infrastructure, economy and government services such as health and education.
The plan for Lebanon outlines the priorities of the government and international community over the next two years.
It aims to deliver humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees while also expanding plans to invest in services and institutions in the most affected areas. It hopes to reach some 2.9 million people, half of them Lebanese.
Kelley told the newspaper that the funds will be divided between the Lebanese government, the U.N. agencies and NGOs.
“No state has ever had the financial support to aid refugees like Lebanon,” she stressed.
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