The Lebanese government, UNHCR and its partners asked the international community for $1.89 billion in funds, part of the U.N.’s largest ever recorded appeal, to finance next year’s Syria refugee response plan in which $165 million will be allocated for health, education, protection and social cohesion activities, and another $80 million for food security initiatives.
The amount represents Lebanon’s portion of the $6.5 billion regional total being requested, which aims to support host countries Iraq, Jordan, Turkey and Egypt, as well as those internally displaced within Syria.
By the end of 2014, the UNHCR predicts that there will be 4.1 million Syrian refugees in the Middle East. There are currently a further 6.8 million internally displaced people in Syria. while Lebanon currently hosts 36 percent of the displaced Syrians in the region. The refugees reside in 1,588 locations across the country.
Lebanese caretaker Prime Minister “Najib Mikati” said “when the Syrian crisis began, Lebanon adopted a principle that would distance itself from the conflict. But while Lebanon managed to do this politically, it was unable to adopt that principle from the humanitarian perspective” , adding “the aim of this aid is primarily to provide social assistance and to respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs related to refugees and host communities”.
U.N High Commissioner for Refugees “Antonio Guterres” stressed that “in this largest and most widespread humanitarian crisis, Lebanon has demonstrated unfaltering solidarity and hospitality toward people who have been forced to flee their homes” m calling the international community to act urgently to support Lebanon, its government and its people.
UNHCR Deputy Head in Lebanon “Jean Paul Cavalieri” said the new plan would target the most vulnerable refugees, as well as attend to the specific needs of women and children. It will also focus on more effective ways to provide aid, such as distributing cash assistance with cards.
The plan for Lebanon was developed collaboratively by the government, 11 U.N. agencies, 54 national and international non-governmental organization partners as well as numerous refugees and municipalities.