U.S. pledges $140 million to Lebanon in Syrian refugee aid

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United States will give Lebanon an additional $140 million to assist Syrian refugees and the communities hosting them, the State Department said on Wednesday, during a state visit by the Lebanese Prime Minister.

Lebanon is hosting at least 1.5 million Syrian refugees who have fled the more than six-year conflict next door and who now make up about a quarter of Lebanon’s population.

This grant means the United States has given Lebanon more than $1.5 billion in humanitarian assistance since the start of the Syrian conflict in 2012, a State Department statement said.

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri met U.S. President Donald Trump this week. Trump said the United States will continue to support the Lebanese army in its fight to stop Islamic State and other militant groups gaining a foothold inside the country.

The U.S. money will be used for food, shelter and medical assistance for Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities. It will also support water and wastewater infrastructure projects, the State Department said.

Reporting by Lisa Barrington; Editing by Catherine Evans

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