UNHCR and host countries seek more help to cope with Syria refugee
Berlin - KUNA
Countries hosting Syrian refugees urged the international community for immediate aid in a bid to share the burden of hosting huge numbers of refugees, it was learned here on Tuesday.
This came up at the opening of the conference being hosted today by Germany on the plight of Syrian refugees in such countries as Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey.
Addressing the conference, Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said the idea for the conference germinated from his recent visit to Lebanon where he saw firsthand the atrocious conditions the Syrian refugees were in and later he saw the same thing in Jordan and Turkey.
He said it was not only important to address the problems the refugees faced but also to help their host countries cope with the socio-economic burdens emanating from taking in massive numbers of destitute refugees.
He said he saw that clearly in Lebanon, a country that has taken in one and a half million Syrian refugees who are living in dismal conditions of crowded camp sites and unwittingly adding to the imbalance of the nation's population mix.
He stressed the notion that the conference here was as much for the benefit of the refugees as for their host countries.
In a similar speech at the opening of the conference, Lebanese prime minister Tammam Salam said the waves of Syrian refugees pouring into his country were putting enormous financial pressure on the nation's budget and asked the international community to extend financial aid to Lebanon.
Germany has invited 40 states and international organizations to attend the conference whose objective is to help in equal measure both the refugees and the countries hosting them.