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Lebanon to receive EU support to cope with Syrian crisis
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Lebanon will receive support from the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis. The fund’s board held its first meeting two days ago and pledged to provide financial assistance of €40 million to Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq.

“The EU Trust Fund is a new and innovative way of pooling our resources into one single and flexible mechanism with high European visibility, responding together to this unprecedented crisis in our southern neighborhood,” said Johannes Hahn, Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations.

This initiative will provide aid to 400,000 Syrian refugees and host communities in need in the recipient countries, focusing on education, livelihood and food security, targeting especially children and young people.

The €40 million will be administered through three programs.

The first program of €12 million will reach and assist up to 20,000 young Syrians, through a combination of fulltime scholarships, fulltime enrolment in short-cycle higher education courses, face to face, blended and online.

The second program of €10 million will sustain livelihood by increasing short, medium and long term economic opportunities for Syrian refugees and host communities, reaching up to 190,000 people in 90 poor communities most affected by the refugee influx.

The third program of €17.5 million will provide more than 200,000 Syrian refugee children with additional second-shift Arabic teaching, life skills education, and will provide educational materials, school supplies and psychosocial support.

On December 15, 2014, the European Commission and Italy signed the constitutive agreement to launch the EU Regional Trust Fund as a new strategic financing tool to mobilize more aid in response to the Syrian crisis.

This initial funding comes from the EU budget and from Italy. Germany also announced a €5 million contribution to this fund, which is however at the moment still subject to parliamentary approval. Further substantial contributions from the EU budget are expected before the end of the year, when a second round of response programs may be adopted.
Reported by Leila Rahbani
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Date Posted: Jun 02, 2015