BEIRUT

Middle East

Response to Syria refugee crisis 'disappointing': World Bank

A man stands amidst rubble at a damaged site hit by what activists said was an air strike by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar Assad in the al-Katerji district in Aleppo June 3, 2014. REUTERS/Mahmoud Hebbo

AMMAN: World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim said on Wednesday international support for Jordan and Lebanon to help them cope with hosting more than 1.6 million Syrian refugees was "disappointing."

"So far the support for Jordan and also Lebanon... has been frankly disappointing. We need donor countries and all who care about peace and stability in this region to step up...," Kim told a joint news conference in Amman with Jordan's planning minister Ibrahim Seif.

" Jordan is bearing too much of a burden of a really global issue.

"This is a global problem, not just a problem for the countries of the region but for the entire world and we think it is time for other countries to really step up, make good on their promises and support this country."

Lebanon is home to more than a million refugees, while around 600,000 have fled to Jordan, and Turkey hosts another 700,000.

Syria's civil war has generated the worst refugee crisis since the Rwandan genocide of the mid-1990s, with half the population having fled their homes, including nearly three million refugees mainly sheltering in neighbouring countries.

Kim, on a regional visit, said on Monday in the Saudi city of Jeddah that the conflict in Syria has cost Lebanon $7.5 billion (5.5 billion euros).

In December, the UN appealed for around $6.5 billion for victims of Syria's war, and $2.3 billion was pledged at a Kuwait donors' conference in January.

But UN officials have said their 2014 plan is only 25 percent funded.

"We have to make sure that in the process of accepting so many refugees this country (Jordan) which has been so stable for so long, does not suffer unnecessarily and continues to grow," said Kim.

Earlier, Kim, who met Jordan's King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur, visited the northern seven-square-kilometre (2.8-square-mile) Zaatari refugee camp, home to around 100,000 Syrians.

"I was able to visit the Zaatari refugee camp this morning and it is truly of an enormous scale but it is only a small proportion of the overall number of Syrian refuges who are here," he told reporters in Amman.

Seif said the World Bank provided Jordan last year with an easy loan of $150 million, and in March approved a $250 million loan to ease strains aggravated by the refugee influx.

"We discussed today (Wednesday) means to get more support from the World Bank for economic and investment projects in Jordan," he said.

"There is a possibility for Jordan to get $700-$800 million to support development projects, as well as $200 million to support the budget in the coming stages," he added without elaborating.

 

Recommended

Advertisement

Comments

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

Alert: If you are facing problems with posting comments, please note that you must verify your email with Disqus prior to posting a comment. follow this link to make sure your account meets the requirements. (http://bit.ly/vDisqus)

comments powered by Disqus
Summary

World Bank chief Jim Yong Kim said on Wednesday international support for Jordan and Lebanon to help them cope with hosting more than 1.6 million Syrian refugees was "disappointing".

Lebanon is home to more than a million refugees, while around 600,000 have fled to Jordan, and Turkey hosts another 700,000 .

Kim, on a regional visit, said on Monday in the Saudi city of Jeddah that the conflict in Syria has cost Lebanon $7.5 billion (5.5 billion euros).

Earlier, Kim, who met Jordan's King Abdullah II and Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur, visited the northern seven-square-kilometre (2.8-square-mile) Zaatari refugee camp, home to around 100,000 Syrians.


Advertisement

FOLLOW THIS ARTICLE

Interested in knowing more about this story?

Click here