19 Mar 2015
A visiting German government official Thursday pledged to boost assistance to help the more than one million refugees in Lebanon displaced as a result of the ongoing war in Syria. The pledge was made during a visit to Lebanon by Gerhard Mueller, Germany’s Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development. “The main objective, before anything else, is to end the fighting and the war in Syria,” Mueller told reporters following talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam. “But we offer all the support and assistance to neighboring countries like Jordan, Turkey, and particularly Lebanon to overcome the problems [associated with] the large number of refugees.” He said that over the past three years, Germany had given Lebanon 250 million euros and promised Berlin would “increase its assistance and support in the future.” Mueller reportedly told Salam that Germany would offer Lebanon 55 million euros to help suport the Syrian refugees residing with the country. In January, Germany announced it has donated 34.2 million euros to the U.N.’s children fund to support Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas said earlier Thursday that Lebanon plans to request $2.1 billion in international aid to cover the expenses associated with Syrian refugees over the next two years at a donor conference scheduled for March 31 in Kuwait. Lebanon hosts over 1.1 million Syrian refugees, making up about one-quarter of the country’s population.