UK donates £5 million to UNDP’s Host Communities Programme
British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher along with UN Humanitarian and Resident Coordination and UNDP Resident Representative in Lebanon, Ross Mountain visited the village of Bar Elias in the Bekaa region on April 1st 2014 in order to announce new aids donated by the UK government to assist the Lebanese communities hosting Syrian Refugees.
Mr. Fletcher and Mr. Mountain met with the mayor of Bar Elias, Saad Mita and discussed with him the challenges the area is facing due to the increasing number of Syrian refugees which has reached 70,000 in addition to a local population of around 45,000.
In his statement before the media, Fletcher said: “As Lebanon approaches the milestone of hosting 1 million refugees we would like to reiterate the UK’s continued support in response to the influx of Syrian refugees into the country. 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. Lebanon will not be left alone to face this humanitarian crisis. We continue to encourage all partners to respond generously.”
The delegation then visited a healthcare center at the municipality building where they were able to talk to patients, both Syrian and Lebanese and listen to their stories.
Fletcher announced the donation of £5 million by the UK government to Host communities and said, “We will now be diverting an increasing amount toward the Lebanese communities, the host communities whose schools, whose hospitals, whose medical centers need that extra support in the period ahead.”
On the other hand, Mr. Mountain thanked the UK Ambassador for the generous contribution and added: “Since the beginning of the crisis, UNDP has highlighted the remarkable solidarity of the Lebanese people and stressed the importance of providing support to the Lebanese hosting communities, especially in the most vulnerable areas. UNDP will work closely with the municipalities in the implementation of the interventions funded by the UK, ensuring that the most pressing needs are addressed and guaranteeing the transparency and effectiveness of the activities”.
The new donation, which comes on top of more than $200 million the U.K. has already given, will help fund a United Nations Development Program project in the country’s poorest areas, targeting basic public services that are collapsing due to the presence of nearly 1 million refugees.