Chairman and Chief Editor
Bedour Ibrahim

Lebanon is mired in an economic crisis that has brought very high inflation

EU Offers €1 Billion to Help Lebanon Manage Syrian Refugees

Thursday 02/May/2024 - 05:12 PM
أصول مصر

The European Union is providing Lebanon with a three-year €1 billion ($1.07 billion) package، mostly to help manage the country’s refugee population، European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Thursday. 

The EU funds، which include regular bilateral aid for Lebanon، will flow into basic services such as education، social protection and health. The support also aims to support the country in managing refugee flows by strengthening border management. The EU will offer equipment، training and infrastructure as well as the exchange of information with the bloc’s border control agency Frontex. 

Resettling refugees from Lebanon 

“We’re committed to maintaining legal pathways open to Europe and resettle refugees from Lebanon in the European Union،” the chief of the EU’s executive said after a meeting in Beirut with Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Cypriot President Nikos Christodoulides. 

The EU is counting on Lebanon’s cooperation to stop undocumented migrants and to combat migrant smuggling، von der Leyen said.  

Economic crisis

Lebanon is mired in an economic crisis that has brought very high inflation and pushed three-quarters of the population into poverty.

The announcement also comes amid French and US efforts to ease tensions between Hezbollah، a Lebanese militia and political party backed by Iran، and Israel. The two sides have been trading fire almost every day since the war in Gaza began in October. France has tried to persuade the Lebanese government to convince Hezbollah fighters to move away from the Israeli border in Lebanon’s south.

The aid is made up of grants split into €736 million to help Lebanon with the Syrian refugee crisis and €264 million in regular bilateral aid، an EU spokesman said. 

“Today we’re taking an important step in making Lebanon stronger،” Christodoulides said. The current situation is not sustainable for Lebanon، for Cyprus and for the EU، he added. 

Lebanon، a country with a population of 5.5 million، has been giving shelter to about one million Syrian refugees since the start of the conflict in the neighboring country. Since 2011، the EU has provided Lebanon with more than €3 billion in support، much of which was earmarked for refugees and communities hosting them.