BEIRUT: U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly confirmed Thursday that the United States is giving $155 million in humanitarian assistance to support those affected by the crisis in Syria, with $29 million earmarked for Lebanon, a statement from the U.S Embassy said.
The ambassador affirmed the news, which was announced earlier by President Barack Obama. Connelly was speaking during a visit to the UNHCR center in Beirut.
Connelly, who met with UNHCR Country Representative Ninette Kelley and Syrian refugees, commended the government and the kindness of the Lebanese people for supporting roughly 230,000 Syrians who have fled their war-torn country.
“The United States remains committed to supporting Lebanon’s efforts in conjunction with U.N. agencies and non-governmental organization partners to provide protection and assistance to those who have fled Syria,” the statement said.
Connelly also highlighted the United States’ “ongoing commitment to support under-developed Lebanese communities, particularly those hosting Syrian refugees, and invest in Lebanon’s people.”
These additional endowments will bring U.S. total contribution since the beginning of the conflict to $365 million, of which $51 million has been directed to assisting the Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
Also Thursday, Connelly held separate meetings with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati. In both meetings, the ambassador discussed bilateral relations and assistance for refugees as well as the political and security situation in Lebanon and regional events, a U.S. Embassy statement said.
Connelly renewed the commitment of her country to a stable, sovereign and independent Lebanon.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on February 01, 2013, on page 3.