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UN stops assistance for 35,000 Syrian families in Lebanon

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has stopped assistance for 35,000 Syrian refugee families in Lebanon, due to a lack of funding for its budget for this year.

With the UNHCR taking this decision, the number of Syrian families benefiting from this aid will decrease from 269,000 to 234,000, which has angered and resented the Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

UNHCR spokeswoman Lisa Abu Khaled said that “the UNHCR is obliged to identify the groups most in need, as resources do not meet all needs.”

The United Nations launched last month an appeal for donations to millions of people displaced by conflicts in Ukraine, Afghanistan and the Middle East, and to help them get through the winter amid “great difficulty” in securing heating.

“Many displaced families will have to choose between eating and keeping warm, while they struggle to heat their shelters, buy warm clothes and cook hot meals,” said Olga Sarrado, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva.
The UNHCR warned of “the gravity of the situation,” especially in Lebanon, which is experiencing an economic crisis, and where 9 out of 10 Syrian refugees live in extreme poverty.

In this context, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees provided a reduced amount to eligible refugee families, as a result of receiving only 30 percent of the funding allocated to provide winter assistance to refugees in Jordan.

The Jordanian news website Al-Mamlaka said that the UN refugee agency had received only $13.8 million by the end of 2022, out of the $46 million appeal for winter cash assistance, which covered a third of the refugees’ winter needs.

It is worth noting that the number of Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon is about 1.5 million, according to official estimates, and most of them suffer from difficult living conditions, especially with the exacerbation of the economic crisis in Lebanon.
Source: Al Jazeera

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