Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Ambassador Richard H. Jones met on February 8, 2016 with Prime Minister Tammam Salam.
Following is the statement Ambassador Jones gave after the meeting:
Good afternoon everyone,
The Prime Minister and I just finished a fruitful discussion about his participation in the London conference last February 4 as you know. We also talked about humanitarian assistance. We look forward to working with the government of Lebanon as it implements its objectives outlined in the statement of intent that it made in London.
At the donor’s conference, the United States pledged an additional $133 million in humanitarian assistance which will be used in Lebanon as well as more than $290 million in development assistance which will be used for education in Lebanon and in Jordan.
The United States is among the largest donors to Lebanon, having given over a billion dollars in humanitarian assistance through the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration and USAID’s Food for Peace Program since 2012.
With the additional funding, the United Nations and international economic partners of Lebanon can continue to deliver shelter assistance, food voucher debit cards, education, health care, cash assistance for emergency needs, and basic relief items like blankets, and so on for refugees. The additional funding however will also support vulnerable Lebanese communities hosting refugees by rehabilitating the municipal water and sanitation systems, supporting local community centers, providing supplies and new equipment to health clinics, and improving school facilities.
In addition to the humanitarian assistance, the US remains committed to our continued assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces.
We commend the Lebanese government and the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) for their decisive action against violent extremist groups. We are proud partners of the LAF and are committed to strengthening this partnership. This is why Lebanon has become the sixth largest recipient of United States military assistance in the world. We have provided Lebanon over $1.4 billion in assistance since 2005, so in the last 10 years.
We are pleased particularly with the recent visit of Lebanese Armed Forces Commander General Kahwagi to Washington, which highlighted the importance of our continued security relationship and we’re looking forward to visits from the Parliament and from the Minister of Finance to Washington. We believe that these visits are important to contribute to the national dialogue which will help the United States understand better Lebanon’s needs so that we can continue and shape our assistance to be as beneficial as possible to the Lebanese people.