BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Saudi Arabia to offer Syrian refugees shelter, aid: Asiri

Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri is seen in Beirut, Monday, March 5, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Asiri said his country has allocated approximately $3.7 million to Syrian refugees for relief aid, in comments published by a Saudi newspaper Tuesday.

Asiri, who made the statement in an interview with Okaz, said a decline in charity donations to Syrian refugees has “prompted Saudi Arabia to set up eight reception and shelter centers in addition to the adoption of a 14 million riyal [approximately $3.7 million] plan to provide relief aid for 8,000 Syrian families.”

In the interview, Asiri also said a Saudi warning against travel to Lebanon had been renewed given the security conditions in Lebanon in addition to the regional situation, all of which “require preventive measures.”

He cited instances of kidnapping, assault and blackmail in Lebanon, as well as airport delays.

Nevertheless, the Saudi envoy stressed that the warning would not affect Lebanese-Saudi ties.

The United Nations helps around 34,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Aid groups estimate the total number of Syrian refugees in the country is close to 90,000.

Lebanon’s Higher Relief Committee (HRC) announced last month that it had halted the dispensing of aid to Syrian refugees in north Lebanon due to a lack of funds.

The Cabinet approved a treasury loan of LL2 billion to the HRC last week.

 

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