British gov't extends aid to Lebanon

July 9, 2013 at 10:38 AM

ZAHLE, Lebanon, July 9 (UPI) -- The British government said Tuesday it was helping Lebanon cope with the influx of Syrian refugees with $64 million in emergency assistance.

British International Development Secretary Justine Greening said Tuesday from Lebanon the country is feeling the strain from the number of Syrian refugees arriving in the country each day.

"Lebanon now hosts more refugees as a percentage of the population than any other country in the world, with nearly 3,000 more arriving daily," she said in a statement. "This is creating tensions around the availability of housing and putting pressure on Lebanon's education and healthcare systems, as well as water, sanitation and other infrastructure."

Greening said about 10 percent of the female refugees from Syrian were victims of violence in Lebanon.

"I am determined that we must all do more to ensure that we do not lose sight of their particular needs in this wider crisis," she said. "Keeping people safe and preventing violence has to be a top priority."

Lebanon's national security has been tested by Syrian civil war. Lebanese affairs were dominated by the Syria before the Cedar Revolution in 2005.

More than a dozen members of the Lebanese military were killed last month during fighting with supporters of a Sunni cleric critical of Shiite movement Hezbollah. A car bomb exploded Tuesday in a Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut, leaving more than 50 people injured.

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