UN starts development projects in aid to Lebanese, Syrian refugees

January 18, 2022
A Syrian refugee shops at a store, which accepts the United Nations' World Food Program electronic cards, in Beirut. — File photo
A Syrian refugee shops at a store, which accepts the United Nations' World Food Program electronic cards, in Beirut. — File photo

BEIRUT — The UN on Monday said it began implementing more than a dozen development projects funded by a Beirut-based fund in aid to Lebanese and Syrian refugees, in addition to the Palestinians, mainly revolving around child support.

Some six non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have partnered with seven global bodies to carry out the endeavors, the bulk of which will focus on child support, the UN said in a statement.

The projects come at a critical time to meet the "dire humanitarian needs of the Lebanese people, added the statement, highlighting that such initiatives would set in motion perpetual development.

The Beirut-based fund has allocated a sum of $6 million to meet the needs of the Lebanese people, according to the statement, at a time where the country is grappling with a severe energy crisis.

Meanwhile, about $150 million from the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), the largest allocation ever, was released on Thursday to boost underfunded humanitarian operations across 13 countries.

For the Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, this funding “represents a lifeline for the millions of people caught up in underfunded crises.”

The announcement follows the recent launch of the Global Humanitarian Overview, which predicts that this year 274 million people will need humanitarian assistance, the highest number in decades.

The United Nations and its partners aim to assist 183 million of the most vulnerable people, at a cost of at least $41 billion. The funds will help address the most urgent needs of vulnerable communities.

The relief operations getting the most funds are in Syria, with $25 million. The Democratic Republic of the Congo will receive $23 million, Sudan $20 million, and Myanmar $12 million.

Aid operations in Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger will each get $10 million. The remainder of the funding will go to Haiti and Lebanon, with $8 million each, Madagascar, $7 million, Kenya and Angola, $6 million each, and finally Honduras, $5 million.

According to Mr. Griffiths, “CERF funding allows donor contributions to go further, swiftly reaching those who need our help the most.”

For the United Nations, the fund is one of the fastest and smartest ways to help people affected by crises. — Agencies

January 18, 2022
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