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Minister Bibeau concludes Middle East visit and reaffirms Canada's commitment at Syria Donors Conference in London
February 4, 2016 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada
The Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, today concluded her visit to the Middle East and the United Kingdom. She reaffirmed Canada’s commitment to supporting the people and communities affected by conflict in the region at the Syria Donors Conference in London, United Kingdom.
During a visit to Amman, Jordan, Minister Bibeau met with Imad Fakhoury, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, to discuss efforts to support the resilience of conflict-affected households and communities. She also visited the site of a solar energy project that is promoting green growth and travelled to the Syrian border to view preparations for a UN humanitarian aid convoy. In addition, she toured the Za’atari camp, where close to 5,000 babies have been born in the last four years and where she witnessed the living conditions of the more than 80,000 refugees who live in the camp.
The Minister then visited Beirut, Lebanon, where she met with Rachid Derbas, Social Affairs Minister, as well as humanitarian partners, to discuss the Syrian crisis and its consequences for Lebanon. She also met with students at a UNICEF-supported school in Zgharta—a project funded by Canada—and toured a nearby neighbourhood that hosts a large number of Syrian refugees.
During the Syria Donors Conference in London, United Kingdom, on February 4, 2016, the Minister highlighted Canada’s commitment to resettle 25,000 Syrian refugees. She also called on donor countries to take a comprehensive approach in responding to the crisis. Such an approach means not only continuing to address humanitarian needs but also working to enhance the resilience of refugees and host communities in the region. Refugees need to live in dignity, to work and to educate their children. Host communities need to ensure their infrastructure can respond adequately to the surge in population.
“Jordan and Lebanon daily show their unprecedented generosity by hosting millions of Syrians in their communities. The challenges they face continue to grow. Canada will continue to be a leading donor to the humanitarian response, working with partners to help vulnerable families meet their basic everyday needs.
“Canada is increasing its efforts to support host communities by strengthening their resilience and creating the necessary conditions for longer-term development. Given the international scope of the challenge, it is imperative that we work together to meet the needs of conflict-affected people and communities. Canada is asking all countries to adopt a comprehensive approach to respond to the crisis in Syria.”
- Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
- Since the start of the Syrian uprising, Canada has provided over $969 million in humanitarian, development, security and stabilization assistance, including the $100 million for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees announced on November 26, 2015.
- To date, nearly 4.6 million people have found refuge from the conflict in neighbouring countries, mainly Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey.
- The Government of Canada has committed to resettling 25,000 Syrian refugees.
- In January, the government extended the contribution deadline of the Syria Emergency Relief Fund to February 29, 2016. For every eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians, the government will continue to set aside one dollar—up to a total of $100 million—for the Fund. The government portion will be invested to respond to needs in the region.
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