The World Bank will continue providing help to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan next year, Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa Ferid Belhaj told Sputnik.
“We are already assisting the people of Syria, the refugees that are now in Lebanon and Jordan,” Belhaj said on Thursday. “We are doing a lot for them. We try to help them with jobs, education and health.”
However, the World Bank is not currently considering taking part in the reconstruction of Syria, as the situation in the country is not yet favorable for such activities, Ferid Belhaj told Sputnik.
“No. For now, clearly the environment is not conducive to that,” Belhaj said on Friday when asked whether the World Bank was ready to participate in Syria’s reconstruction. “So, it is not an issue that we are looking at right now.”
When further asked whether the World Bank would look at taking part in Syria’s reconstruction when the conditions permit and the environment is safe, Belhaj said the international lender would first want to ensure an international consensus.
“And then we’ll look at it, the way we do with every other country actually,” he added.
As most of the heavy fighting in Syria is now over and the war is nearing its end, the Syrian government has started welcoming back citizens who were forced to flee the armed conflict and seek asylum in other countries. The influx of more than a million Syrian refugees to Lebanon has put a strain the country’s economy as Lebanon’s total population was estimated at just over 6.082 million people in 2017, according to the data of the World Bank.
The UN Refugee Agency is proving financial aid to the most vulnerable Syrian refugees in the Middle East, mainly in Lebanon and Jordan. However, according to the UNHCR, this aid fails to cover all Syrian refugees in Lebanon.