Minister of State for the Middle East Dr Andrew Murrison ended a two-day visit to Lebanon, reiterating the UK’s long-term commitment to supporting a strong and prosperous state and announcing over $41 million towards Lebanese host communities and refugees…

Dr Murrison met with President Michel Aoun, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil, MP’s and senior business leaders. VIP also visited UK aid funded projects up and down the country supporting Lebanese host communities, with a focus on economy, education, demining, refugees and the Lebanese Armed Forces.

In the Bekaa, Minister Murrison visited an Informal Tented Settlement and saw how tech solutions (Iris scanning) are used to ensure UK aid only goes to those who need it the most to meet their most basic survival needs. He also met Syrian refugee families and heard from them about their living conditions and challenges they face in Lebanon, including how they view the prospect of returning to Syria.

In Tripoli, Murrison met with host communities to see the positive impact UK aid is having on people’s lives through the Lebanese Host Communities Support Programme in partnership with the Ministry of Social Affairs. He announced a new $39m in support of delivering better public services, economic opportunities and promoting social stability to the most vulnerable Lebanese and refugees.

At the non-formal education centre run by UNICEF, Murrison announced over $2.5 million of UK aid funding to UNICEF’s non-formal education programme. He saw how non formal schooling is delivered to out of school refugee and Lebanese children, and how the UK is working with the international community to ensure a generation of children do not miss out on education.

Continuing his northern visit, Minister Murrison visited the First Land Border Regiment along the Lebanese-Syrian border, which demonstrates the UK’s strong support to the Lebanese Armed Forces, Lebanon’s sole defenders, to train, mentor and equip their Land Border Regiments.

Speaking at the end of his visit, the Minister said: “The UK remains a steadfast partner of the Government of Lebanon and supports the need for economic reforms so that Lebanon can fulfil its potential, including through increased trade and investment. I reiterated the UK’s recognition of Lebanon’s generosity hosting people fleeing Syria, and got to see how UK aid is supporting host communities and refugees.”