EU should do more for Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan, say S&Ds
A delegation of 4 S&D MEPs, Enrique Guerrero Salom, vice president of the S&D Group and standing rapporteur for Humanitarian Aid, Elena Valenciano, chair of the DROI Subcommittee, Antonio Panzeri, S&D DROI coordinator and Joseph Weidenholzer, vice president of S&D Group, actively participated in a mission to Lebanon from 30 September to 2 October in order to assess the situation of Syrian and Palestinian refugees.
During the visit, the delegation met with representatives of the government, the speaker of the Lebanese Parliament, H.E. Nabih Berri, the president of the Human Rights Committee, H.E. Michel Moussa, and representatives of UN Agencies, notably UNHCR and UNWRA and NGO's dealing with human rights.
The S&D MEPs also went on field visits to the Burj El Barajneh refugee camp in Saida and in Sarafand.
The delegation welcomes the open and frank discussions they held with the Lebanese authorities and appreciates the solidarity provided for the 2 million refugees in a country which has a Lebanese population of 4 million.
S&D MEP Elena Valenciano said:
"Governments, everywhere in the world, should understand that education is a prerequisite for security. In order to safeguard a whole generation, the support, in Lebanon, to ensure teaching in schools remains fundamental to the daily lives of Palestinian and Syrian children".
S&D MEP and vice president, Enrique Guerrero Salom said:
"Access to education must be a priority in humanitarian emergencies; the European Union will continue its strong support of UNWRA and other UN Agencies in carrying out their missions. We will request that this be a key point on the agenda of the World Humanitarian Summit, next year in Istanbul ".
S&D MEP Antonio Panzeri said:
"Tackling the refugee crisis in Lebanon must be a priority for Europe otherwise there will be heavy consequences to pay. I am coming back to Brussels with the conviction that Europe should do more in the humanitarian, financial and political fields"
S&D MEP Joseph Weidenholzer said:
"The European refugee crises can only be solved if a political and humanitarian solution is found in the region; we should not lose any more time and Europe should play a key role in gathering together all relevant and good will actors, including Syria, around the negotiating table".
The S&D delegation will continue its mission to Amman in Jordan where they will visit the Zaatari refugee camp. A meeting with the Jordanian minister for planning is also on the agenda.