As Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Reach the One Million Mark, UNDP and the UK Department for International Development Boost Cooperation in Support of Host Communities
New York –Today according to UNHCR estimates the number of refugees who have fled Syria and registered in Lebanon has surpassed the milestone of one million, leaving the country to Syria’s west with the highest population of refugees-per-capita worldwide.
Since the outbreak of violence in Syria over three years ago, more than 2.5 million people have fled the country, not only to Lebanon but also to Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq and other countries.
For many host communities, the influx is causing strains as Syrian refugees seek increasingly scarce resources such as housing, food and healthcare, and compete for jobs amidst a region-wide economic slowdown.
In a field visit to the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon this week, British Ambassador Tom Fletcher announced a new commitment of £5 million of funding to UNDP’s Host Communities Programme in Lebanon.
The programme will boost basic-service delivery in the areas of Lebanon most affected by the influx of Syrian refugees.
“I’d like to pay tribute to Lebanese communities that are bearing the greatest burdens and have responded to the Syrian refugee crisis with great generosity,” said Ambassador Fletcher. "Lebanon will not be left alone to face this humanitarian crisis. We continue to encourage all partners to respond generously.”
The Host Communities Programme will work with local government and civil society to provide medical equipment and supplies for healthcare centers, equipment for water purification, infrastructure for waste management and other supplies needed to cope with the increasing demands that come with such a large influx of refugees.
“The Government of Lebanon and communities across the country have shown exemplary solidarity in hosting Syrian refugees,” said Sima Bahous, Assistant Administrator of UNDP and Director of the Regional Bureau for Arab States.
“UNDP is on the ground helping communities meet the challenges that come with this generosity. We thank the Government and the people of the United Kingdom for their leadership and this new commitment, which will allow UNDP to expand our support at a critical time for the Lebanese people.”
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