BEIRUT: The Japanese government has contributed US$4.3 million to UNICEF’s emergency response to provide assistance to the "most vulnerable” Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a statement from the UNICEF said Wednesday.
“With up to 13,000 new Syrian refugees arriving in Lebanon, half of which are children under 18, every week, it is urgent that essential services are scaled up to meet their basic needs,” said Annamaria Laurini, UNICEF’s representative in Lebanon, during a recent visit with the Japanese ambassador to camps in the Bekaa Valley Tuesday.
“We are very grateful to the people of Japan; these funds will help ensure the most vulnerable children and families affected by the Syria crisis have access to urgently needed services.”
The funds will help secure safe water, adequate sanitation and health and child protection services for around 20,000 Syrian refugees living in informal settlements, the UNICEF statement said.
Another approximately 10,000 Syrian refugees and Lebanese hosts will benefit from repairs and rehabilitation of local water networks, it added.
The funds will also support UNICEF in providing access to primary health care services for more than 100,000 refugees living in informal camps through mobile medical units, the statement said, adding that the donation would also secure screening of up to 40,000 children for malnutrition.
The funds would also see the provision of essential micronutrient supplements for 8,000 pregnant women and new mothers.
For his side, the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon, Seiichi Otsuka, hailed “UNICEF’s efforts to improve the well-being of Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.”
“As we approach the summer season clean water and sanitation facilities become critical to the wellbeing of children to ensure they stay healthy,” Otuska said. “We hope that the contribution from the people of Japan will help UNICEF in its efforts to scale up access to clean water and sanitation for all Syrian refugee children in informal tented settlements."
Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees from the crisis in Syria in the region, with over a million registered refugees.