BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Hezbollah says Syrian refugees not receiving needed aid

Hezbollah official Ammar Moussawi attends a ceremony in the southern suburbs of Beirut, Friday, Jan. 25, 2013. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)

BEIRUT: Hezbollah figure Ammar Musawi said Tuesday the international community had failed in fulfilling its financial pledges toward Syrian refugees, during talks with U.N. Special Coordinator to Lebanon Derek Plumbly.

According to Hezbollah’s office, the head of the party’s international relations department said “the international community is responsible for not fulfilling its promises and commitments in providing for the needs of tens of thousands of families who live in tragic conditions.”

Lebanon has appealed to the Arab League and the international donor countries for some $200 million to help the government cope with a rising number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, expected to reach more than half a million.

Over 300,000 refugees have fled their home country and sought refuge in Lebanon since the beginning of the uprising against Hezbollah’s ally, President Bashar Assad.

With no end of the raging violence in Syria in sight, the U.N. has said it expects the number of refugees to reach 1.1 million by next June.

A donor conference in Kuwait held on Jan. 30 pledged $1 billion in aid to host countries.

During the meeting Monday, Plumbly and Musawi discussed the results of ongoing talks and consultations related to a new electoral law.

Musawi stressed that Hezbollah is concerned with providing an appropriate atmosphere to hold the June parliamentary poll as rival leaders scramble to agree on a new law to govern the elections.

The Hezbollah official also spoke about the effect of the crisis in Syria in Lebanon, accusing some parties of dragging the conflict into the country.

“Some people in Lebanon do not hesitate to play dangerous games that would bring the Syrian crisis into Lebanon with the aim of achieving illusions to strengthen their role and presence, referring to the Arsal incident and border skirmishes as a result of smuggling of gunmen and arms in the north into Syrian territory.”

 

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