BEIRUT: U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly praised Thursday efforts by the Lebanese government to assist refugees fleeing the crisis in neighboring Syria.
“[Connelly] commended the government of Lebanon and the generosity of the Lebanese people for hosting and supporting some 230,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the brutal violence of the [President Bashar] Assad regime,” a U.S. embassy statement said.
“She highlighted the United States’ ongoing commitment to support under-developed Lebanese communities, particularly those hosting Syrian refugees, and investing in Lebanon’s people,” the statement added.
Connelly’s comments came during a visit to a United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) registration center in the Lebanese capital where she met with UNHCR Country Representative Ninette Kelley as well as Syrian families who have sought protection in the country from the unrest in Syria.
The diplomat stressed a recent U.S. announcement of an additional $155 million in humanitarian assistance to support those affected by the Syria crisis, “including nearly $29 million for Lebanon.”
According to the U.S. Embassy statement, the announcement of further aid brings the total U.S. contribution since the beginning of the conflict in Lebanon’s neighbor to “$365 million of which $51 million supports humanitarian assistance efforts for Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.”
“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 reiterated her government’s commitment to a stable, sovereign and independent Lebanon.