Koenders pledges extra support to Lebanon for reception of refugees

The Netherlands will provide additional aid to Lebanon for the reception of refugees. Minister of Foreign Affairs Bert Koenders made this pledge in talks with his Lebanese counterpart, Gebran Bassil, in Beirut on Monday.

Lebanon is hosting almost 1.2 million refugees, mostly from neighbouring Syria. ‘Lebanon is bearing an enormous burden. I have the greatest appreciation for the Lebanese people’s solidarity and resilience,’ Mr Koenders said.

The Netherlands is donating €25 million to the United Nations for humanitarian aid for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This sum is part of the €110 million the Dutch government recently made available to provide aid to victims of the conflict in Syria. ‘Of course, €25 million is not enough. I will urge other European countries to play their part,’ the minister added.

Mr Koenders also announced that the Netherlands will donate 20 military ambulances to Lebanon. The Lebanese army, which plays an important part in maintaining the country’s stability, will use the ambulances chiefly to provide better medical care to troops in the border region.

Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen announced in a letter to the House of Representatives on Monday how the extra €110 million will be spent. Through the UN, €100 million will go to humanitarian aid in Lebanon (€25 million), Jordan (€25 million) and Iraq (€25 million) and a programme for displaced persons in Syria (€40 million). The remaining €10 million will be donated to the International Red Cross.