Arab Today, arab today kuwaitibahraini meeting to tackle media political issues
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Kuwaiti-Bahraini meeting to tackle media, political issues

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Kuwaiti-Bahraini meeting to tackle media, political issues

Manama - KUNA

The United States has reiterated its continued assistance to the 2.4 million Syrian refugees and neighboring countries hosting them.In a panel discussion held here, on Friday, at the Brookings Institute entitled "No End in Sight: Syrias Refugees and Regional Repercussions," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, Kelly Clements said "this is not a traditional humanitarian response emergency that were dealing with." She outlined four objectives the U.S. holds to provide aid for the Syrian refugees; to give as much humanitarian assistance to Syria as possible, provide such aid to neighboring countries while keeping the borders open, stabilize neighborhoods that refugees accumulate in and meet needs of protection in and outside of Syria because of the high level of gender based violence and its influence on children."Were really trying to bring all the spigots of U.S. government support, and I mentioned military earlier too because what theyre doing in Lebanon and Jordan in terms of support for the Lebanese armed forces and the Jordanian armed forces is really quite significant," said Clements.Clements also mentioned the U.N.s comprehensive regional strategy which aims to put together humanitarian responses. But, it also provides advancements "towards development economic burdens." Representatives from the host countries of Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey were also present "to provide context for each unique scenario a refugee finds there." Ambassador of Lebanon to the U.S. Antoine Chedid reported that according the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Lebanon once accepted 6,000 refugees in one day. He believes that after illegal refugees are counted the Syrian population now makes up 30 percent of the Lebanese population."The World Banks impact assessment estimates the total economic loss to the country to be around USD 7.5 billion for the period extending for 2012 to 2014. Unemployment is likely to reach 20 percent as 324,000 Lebanese plunge to unemployment. Exports have plummeted, and a 20 percent growth rate in 2010 has turned into minus one percent," said Chedid.In Iraq, Lukman Faily, the Ambassador of Iraq to the U.S., said "the Iraqi government has not had an issue of finance. Therefore, Iraq has been "more than capable" and therefore been able to work with NGOs. "Its more to do with organizations and coordination within the Iraqi entities and with NGOs and UNHCR. So in that sense, its more been an operational challenge than an issue of fund," he stressed. Dina Sabbagh of Jordan said that Syrian refugees now make up 10 percent of the Jordanian population. "This sudden influx would be difficult for even wealthy countries just like the USA. For a small country with limited resources, Jordan, it would be crippling," said Sabbagh.Jordanian hospitals and schools cannot support the increase in people. "Even garbage in the streets are piling up. Our sewage systems are being overrun," added Sabbagh Since Jordan is a country with limited water resources, Sabbagh mentioned that tensions are beginning to rise between Jordanians and Syrian refugees who are not accustom to such water restrictions.On Turkey, Kemal Kirisci, a senior fellow at the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmens Association, brought up the countrys refugee camps. "They did build perfect camps. Ive seen it. I dont want to sound like a government spokesman there, but they deserve the credit for the way in which they are housing now about 210,000 refugees," said Kirisci.It is estimated there are about 700,000 refugees in Turkey. Yet, more than 70 percent of the children outside camps are not receiving any education.He added, the current laws in Turkey do not allow easy access to work permits for Syrians. Therefore more Syrians are working in the black market. This is causing wages to go down, rent to go up, and a high level of resentment.Looking towards the future, Lebanons Ambassador stressed "by assisting the neighboring countries of Syria to cope with the refugees problem, the international community will enhance the security and the stability of these countries." "The spillover of the Syrian situation to these countries, Lebanon included of course, is capable to destabilize the region's stability, thus creating a conducive environment for terrorism and terrorist organizations as we in Lebanon are witnessing the terrorist attacks almost daily" he noted.He added "this issue of terrorism should be addressed not only by Lebanon or Iraq, or the other neighboring countries and the neighboring countries, but by the international community, thus enhancing to seriously help reaching a political solution to the Syrian tragedy."

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