Eichhorst at the opening of the EU-Lebanon Cooperation Days. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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When the Syrian civil war began four years ago, the aid response within Lebanon was focused on Syrian refugees, according to representatives from the ministries of education and social affairs.The EU has allocated an extra 486.2 million euros to specifically help Syrian refugees and their host communities in Lebanon over 2014-16, more than three times the general allocation of over 130 million euros for the country.Most EU assistance already targets the poorest communities in the first place, which is usually where many Syrian refugees are found, she said. While Lebanon has not allowed the establishment of Syrian refugee camps, he told the panel audience it was actually better policy to integrate refugees into host communities, and the majority of the aid response has relied on public services.Adviser to the social affairs minister Hala El Helou noted the ministry, which took on oversight of the refugee crisis last year, has moved to a "stabilization response" rather than the "humanitarian" one in 2011, which had funding mostly earmarked for refugees and only small-scale initiatives targeting host communities.
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