High donor commitments continued to help Lebanon in mitigating the impact of the Syrian crisis by bolstering food assistance, education, water and sanitation, according to a United Nations mid-year update on donor support to the country.
“As of the end of June, available resources stood at $1.17 billion, with $828 million disbursed this year and $344 million carried over from last year,” according to a news release issued today by the Office of the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Lebanon.
Since the beginning of the year, the news release continued, donor support had been translated into important results. These included food assistance to almost 865,000 individuals; enabling 197,000 Lebanese children and 150,000 refugee children to enrol in public schools for the 2015-2016 academic year; the extension of some 86 kilometres of publicly-owned water supply networks, covering 30 municipalities and bringing safe water to some 670,000 individuals; and improvements to municipal solid waste management systems, benefiting more than 350,000 individuals.
While the assistance has, so far, remained focused on the short-term emergency response, the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for the Middle Eastern country, Philippe Lazzarini, highlighted in the news release the importance of longer-term support, calling it “crucial to enable partners to plan ahead in other key areas, such as to ensure the continued enrolment of children in the public school system for the 2016/2017 school year and beyond, and to scale up support to municipalities to strengthen service delivery and livelihoods at the local level.”
At a recent Security Council meeting, various challenges facing Lebanon were flagged. These include deteriorating security conditions, weakening State institutions and the need for continued dispersal of funding for the refugees hosted by the country. Currently, Lebanon is hosting more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees.
In December 2015, the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan was launched, seeking a total of $2.48 billion for 2016 to implement joint programmes by the Government and the international aid community.
In February 2016, at the conference on Supporting Syria and the Region in London, the international community pledged more than $12 billion to meet the immediate and longer-term needs of those affected – $6 billion for 2016 and a further $6.1 billion for 2017-2020.
Source: United Nations
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