A package of British aid support to Lebanon will create jobs for local people and Syrian refugees and improve infrastructure to boost economic development, Middle East Minister Alistair Burt announced on Friday.
During the CEDRE conference (Conférence Economique pour le Développement, par les Réformes et avec les Entreprises) being held in Paris, he called on other donors to follow the Britain's lead and step up their international support to help the Government of Lebanon deliver their plans for economic growth and improved support for businesses, according to the British Department for International Trade.
The British support will boost stability in Lebanon, which is on frontline of the multiple crises in the Middle East, and help Lebanon continue to host 1.5 million Syrian refugees in the eighth year of the Syria crisis.
Speaking in Paris, on the initiation of President Emmanuel Macron, Minister Burt announced that the Britain will provide grants to create jobs and deliver infrastructure projects in Lebanon; deliver a new program to help small businesses grow and hire more Lebanese and Syrian employees to give people hope for the future; deliver a program to boost investment in local infrastructure to improve the delivery of services.
He said:“The British cares deeply about the stability and future prosperity of Lebanon. We recognize the enormity of the challenges faced in the region and the extraordinary strength and resilience of Lebanon, not just in weathering these challenges but in providing, at no small cost, shelter, education, an opportunities to work for so many who have fled appalling violence, fear and destruction."
But today is not solely about the Syria crisis, and this is not a crisis conference. It is something altogether more hopeful – and in some ways at least – more challenging. It is about turning a corner, reinvigorating growth in the economy, and unlocking the immense potential and possibility of the Lebanese people to help the country stand on its own two feet.
The path ahead will not be easy. But the benefits are clear. And Britain– as a strong supporter of Lebanon – remains committed to standing shoulder to shoulder with Lebanon now and into the future.”
Today’s £40 million package of support is a new allocation from Britain’s response to the Syria crisis. Britain is a leading donor in the humanitarian response. To date we have committed over £2.46 billion in humanitarian funding to the region.
It includes a £15m program in partnership with the Lebanese Government to support to small businesses; £15m for the Lebanon Host Community Support Program delivered through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Ministry of Social Affairs to invest in local infrastructure; and £10 million worth of grant financing to create jobs and deliver infrastructure projects.