Lebanon is coping with the consequences of the conflict in Syria as an estimated 1.5 million Syrians have fled to Lebanon. The Netherlands supports the country by investing in opportunities for refugees and Lebanese host communities. The Netherlands has increased its activities in Lebanon since 2016 and will maintain and expand its support during the current term of government.
Around one in four inhabitants of Lebanon is a refugee. Additional residents inevitably places additional pressure on public services, such as schools. The Netherlands therefore invests in education and vocational training for both Syrian refugees and vulnerable Lebanese people. We also invest in private sector development to stimulate economic opportunities for Lebanese and Syrian people, and special attention is paid to youth and gender equality. In this way, the Netherlands contributes to Lebanon's resilience. Stability is not only in the interests of the country itself, but also the best interest of the Netherlands.
In order to strengthen Lebanon's stability, the Netherlands is also investing in security. For example, the Netherlands is funding humanitarian demining to make inaccessible parts of the country safe and accessible to residents. The Netherlands is also working with the Lebanese army to strengthen border controls. This makes Lebanon more resilient to the cross-border consequences of the Syrian conflict. Given the precarious balance between different religious communities, it is extremely important to contribute to stability, all the more so since Lebanon itself also has a recent history of violent conflict.