Cameron urges support for Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan
Updated: 2015-09-15 09:11
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron meets refugee children and teenagers at the UNICEF Makani Centre at the Za'atri refugee camp near Amman in Jordan, September 14, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]
BEIRUT/AMMAN - British Prime Minister David Cameron said on a visit to Lebanon and Jordan on Monday that it was vital to provide support for refugees from Syria's civil war within the region to discourage them from risking their lives in trying to reach Europe.
Under pressure from Europe to take in far more refugees to help with a migrant crisis in the European Union, Cameron pledged last week that Britain would take in up to 20,000 people from refugee camps in Lebanon and elsewhere in the region.
Britain has also promised 100 million pounds ($154.5 million) to help Syrian refugees in several countries, with up to 29 million pounds going to Lebanon.
Cameron visited refugees in an informal tented settlement in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley, where many live without easy access to electricity and clean water, and praised Lebanon's efforts when he met Prime Minister Tammam Salam in Beirut.
"I was in the Bekaa Valley seeing for myself that hospitality and meeting some of the Syrian refugees that we will resettle in the United Kingdom," he said.
He later flew by helicopter to Jordan's Zaatari camp, one of the largest camps hosting refugees along the border with Syria, before meeting King Abdullah in Amman.
There he spoke of the need to support the refugees within the region to discourage them from making the dangerous journey to Europe.
"It is so important to help keep people close to their homes, clothe them, feed them and house them so they don't take the perilous journey across the seas which has led to such appalling losses of life" he said.