Friday, February 16, 2018

US Cutting Funds for Palestine Increases Refugee Burden for Lebanon

US Cutting Funds for Palestine Increases Refugee Burden for Lebanon
The United States' decision to reduce financial assistance to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees (UNRWA) will place an additional burden on Lebanon, which currently hosts enough Syrian and Palestinian refugees to constitute half the country's population, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said Thursday.

"The decision by the United States to reduce its contribution to UNRWA from $264 million to $60 million will be implemented only in Gaza, and will not benefit the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. It will rather add to the burden placed on Lebanon in the care of these refugees who, added to the Syrian displaced, now constitute half the population of Lebanon," Aoun stressed.

He specified that Lebanon was hosting over 850,000 Syrian refugees.

"Lebanon, which has hosted more than 850,000 Syrian refugees on its soil since the start of the bloody events in Syria, can no longer bear the consequences of this displacement… The aid provided by the international community is insufficient and is already going directly to the displaced without any coordination with or supervision by the Lebanese State," Aoun said during talks with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, as quoted by the National News Agency (NNA).

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