BEIRUT: The United States has contributed a further $32 million in aid for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said Thursday.
“A $32 million contribution by the United States to United Nations aid agencies will provide urgently needed assistance to thousands of refugees from Syria, as well as their hosting communities in Lebanon,” said a statement from the UNHCR.
It said the contribution comes at a time when additional shelter, water and sanitation and community support is critically needed.
These funds bring the total U.S. contribution to the Syrian response in Lebanon to $88 million since 2012, the statement said.
UNHCR Representative Ninette Kelley described as “very important” the U.S. contribution.
“It not only helps us to ensure life sustaining support to refugees, but also provides a big boost to Lebanese who have opened their homes and communities to refugees and who need help in their enormous efforts,” Kelley said.
“The U.S. contribution renews our momentum in assisting those who have suffered great loss and is a hopeful reminder that the international community has not forgotten the Syrian people nor the Lebanese whose communities are also being transformed with the influx,” he added.
The statement said the U.S. funds will help UNHCR improve shelter for Syrian refugees and hosting communities at a time when thousands of helpless refugees have to live in sub-standard makeshift accommodation.
Through quick-impact projects, the U.S. contribution will also improve local services in affected areas, including vocational training, remedial classes and agriculture-based projects aimed at providing opportunities to unemployed adults and out-of-school youth.
Through the contribution, UNICEF will be able to scale up water, sanitation and hygiene initiatives, together with health measures to help prevent diseases from spreading as summer approaches.
Their programs also fund education and the protection of children, which are crucial to provide displaced children with a sense of normalcy and a prospect in the future.
With the number of Palestine refugees from Syria now exceeding 53,000, UNRWA in Lebanon is providing food and housing assistance, relief and social services, education, and health care, according to the statement.