BEIRUT: U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly expressed hope Wednesday that a planned conference over the issue of Syrian refugees to be held in Kuwait would generate the needed funds to assist countries hosting the displaced, including Lebanon.
Following her meeting with Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour, Connelly “underscored the United States’ hope that the Kuwait conference will generate much needed contributions for the United Nations’ appeals for Syrian refugees in Syria and the region, including Lebanon.”
According to a statement by the embassy, the envoy also conveyed her country’s support for the U.N. conference hosted by the Gulf country scheduled for Jan. 30
She said that the U.S. has so far provided an estimated $210 million in humanitarian assistance to those inside Syria and those who have fled to neighboring countries.
During the meeting, Connelly welcomed Lebanon’s commitment to work to meet the needs of refugees from Syria.
The Arab League decided earlier this week to send a delegation to visit Syria’s neighboring countries, including Lebanon, before the donor conference in Kuwait to assess the situation of Syrian refugees on the ground.
The regional organization's decision to send a delegation comes after Lebanese officials asked Arab countries during an extraordinary session in Cairo to support the government's plan that involves an annual budget of $180 million to pay for health, social and education services for refugees.
Lebanon has appealed to the U.N. and donor countries to help the government cope with the rising number of Syrian refugees, who number over 200,000.