BEIRUT: The European Union will allocate an additional $95 million for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, EU Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst said Friday.
“These days, an additional amount of €70 million will be allocated by the EU humanitarian agency ECHO to help the poorest refugees through the winter,” the ambassador said after meeting with President Michel Sleiman.
Eichhorst said that this EU contribution will cover all the needs identified and planned for the poorest Syrian refugees during the winter under the "winterisation" program developed by the inter-agency coordination here in Lebanon.
The program includes assistance for five months - from November to March - for 90,000 families living at an altitude of 500m above sea level and/or in informal tented settlements as well as 10 percent of vulnerable Syrian families living below 500m.
Lebanon has been facing major challenges coping with over 794,000 refugees who have escaped violence in war-torn Syria.
Talks between Sleiman and EU Ambassadors focused on “the general situation in Lebanon and the region, the impact of the conflict in Syria on Lebanon, as well as the partnership between the European Union and Lebanon.”
Eichhorst also stressed the need for Lebanon to commit to the Baabda Declaration, an agreement approved by rival political groups to keep Lebanon away from Syria crisis.
“The disassociation policy as expressed in Baabda Declaration remains essential to keep Lebanon away from the Syrian conflict," she said.
“The European Union once again calls on all parties to uphold this commitment and supports the call for dialogue of President Sleiman.”
The EU also stressed the need for “a functioning government to assume the essential responsibilities and take the necessary decisions, both in terms of managing the refugee crisis, and in terms of national governance and international obligations.”