UN fund makes a difference for refugees in Beirut: OCHA chief

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Valerie Amos

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) established by the UN General Assembly in 2006 is making a difference in the lives of refugees in Lebanon.

That's what was said by Valerie Amos, the head of the United Nations humanitarian agency (OCHA) in a message to a high-level conference on CERF in New York on Friday.

Ms Amos sent the message from a camp housing 30,000 Palestinian refugees, 2,000 of whom, she said, arrived from Syria in the last year.

"I had hoped to be there today but winter has set in with the vengeance. It's cold, it's snowing, the roads are closed and people are desperate for shelter. Some of you may have seen the pictures on your television screens but what I have been able to see is the difference that CERF funding can make. When people arrived here from Syria they came with nothing. CERF funding helped to give them some cash assistance to get them going." (29")

Ms. Amos pointed out that people are desperate to return home but they can't because of the violence, the intimidation and the brutality that is happening inside Syria right now.

She said that Syria and neighbouring countries have been the biggest recipient of CERF funding in the last year, receiving $82 million overall, with $21 million going to Lebanon itself.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1’19″

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