Ambassador Christina Lassen, head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, visited Wednesday the northern region of Akkar to meet with Syrian refugees in Kouachra, announced the EU on a statement.

The visit was organized together with the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), an important partner of the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO).

During her visit, Lassen discussed the current difficult conditions of Syrian refugees in terms of legal status, protection, education, shelter, and access to livelihoods. The focus was on what the European Union can do best to assist and how, to ensure that humanitarian assistance to the refugees is coupled with long-term support for the Lebanese communities that host them.

Ahead of the London Conference on February 4, Lassen assured that the EU “is ready to continue supporting Lebanon which has, since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, made extraordinary efforts in hosting refugees.”

“The London Conference will be a major step towards more international support and an opportunity for significant investment in Lebanon,” added the EU statement.

"With the London Conference taking place tomorrow, I think it is important for us all to remember what this is all about: The hundreds of thousands of refugees who have come here to seek refuge and the Lebanese citizens who have hosted them and shown incredible hospitality. What I have seen today reminded me of the extremely difficult situation many of these refugees are facing, in particular now in the middle of the winter season. The EU will continue to do all we can to assist Lebanon in this crisis, and the London Conference is an opportunity for us to reconfirm and increase our support and discuss with the government of Lebanon what their priorities are for the future", said Lassen.

Since 2012, the EU and its 28 Member States' response to the conflict in Syria and its spill-over into neighboring countries has reached more than EURO 4.4 billion. In Lebanon alone, the EU has given EURO 561 million to the response. The London Conference is aimed at ensuring additional financial support for the major host countries Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.

Source & Link: Naharnet