EU approves aid package for Lebanon to support refugees and local communities

By agency reporter
June 21, 2018

On World Refugee Day, (20 June 2018) the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis approved new projects to support refugees and local communities in Lebanon and Jordan.

The new projects include the public schooling of refugee children in Lebanon and social assistance for vulnerable refugees and local communities affected by the Syrian crisis in Lebanon and Jordan. The new aid package brings the overall value of projects under the Trust Fund to over €1.4 billion.

EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, said: "The EU is continuing to deliver on its pledge to help Lebanon and Jordan, which host the largest per capita refugee population in the world. The new projects will substantially boost social protection and access to education for both Syrian and Palestine refugees from Syria, as well as for local communities."

The new €167 million aid package includes the following actions:

  • €100 million to guarantee access to education for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon
  • €52 million to provide social protection and assistance to vulnerable refugees and host communities affected by the Syrian crisis in Lebanon
  • €13 million to strengthen the resilience of Palestine Refugees from Syria, in Lebanon
  • €2 million to strengthen the resilience of Palestine Refugees from Syria, in Jordan

The assistance package was adopted by the EU Trust Fund's Board, which brings together the European Commission, members of the European Parliament, EU Member States and representatives of Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and the World Bank. Additional aid packages are planned for Jordan and Iraq in the second half of 2018.

Since its establishment in December 2014, an increasing share of the EU's support to help Syrian refugees and support Syria's neighbouring countries to cope with the refugee crisis is being provided through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis. The Trust Fund reinforces an integrated EU aid response to the crisis and primarily addresses longer-term resilience and early recovery needs of Syrian refugees, host communities and their administrations in neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

The Trust Fund is a key instrument to deliver on the EU's pledges to help the refugee hosting countries made at the London conference on Syria in 2016 and the Brussels conferences on supporting the future of Syria and the region in April 2017 and April 2018. The Fund also underpins the EU Compacts agreed with Jordan and Lebanon to better assist them in the protracted refugee crisis. With the new package adopted today, the Fund has delivered a total of €522 million for Lebanon and €214 million for Jordan during three years of operations, much more than initially foreseen.

Overall, €1.4 billion has been mobilised and pledged from the EU budget and contributions of 22 EU Member States and Turkey. This entire amount has now been adopted by the Board and turned into concrete projects on the ground helping refugees and host countries alike.

The Trust Fund's programmes support basic education and child protection for refugees, training and higher education, better access to healthcare, improved water and waste-water infrastructure, as well as support for resilience, empowering women, fighting gender-based violence, and developing economic opportunities and social stability. The scope of the Fund also includes support for internally displaced persons in Iraq and the recovery of areas liberated from Da'esh, while also providing support in the Western Balkans to non-EU countries affected by the refugee crisis.

* European Commission https://ec.europa.eu/commission/index_en

[Ekk/6]

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