On 28 June 2017, State Secretary Yasmin Fahimi welcomed the Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs, Pierre Bou Assi, to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs for talks. With an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, Lebanon is the country with the highest number of refugees per capita in the world. Against this backdrop, the minister responsible for refugees was particularly interested in how Germany is dealing with refugees fleeing the war in Syria.
It is extremely important that we help refugees in their time of need. The enormous effort on the part of the Lebanese government to provide access to education for many young refugees in particular is very worthwhile and deserving of recognition. This will provide them with important skills that will be of great use when they return and reconstruction begins. The German government supports the Lebanese government in this course of action, said State Secretary Fahimi during the talks. The Lebanese Minister expressed thanks for Germany's support and encouraged Germany to remain involved in the long term. He also emphasised the importance of social security systems for the population, especially for disadvantaged groups. For instance, the minister was very interested in an exchange of ideas on instruments and lessons learned in integrating people with disabilities into the labour market.
Due to the extreme burden placed on Lebanon by the situation in Syria and the refugee crisis, Germany's Federal Government, together with other donors, is helping provide the Lebanese government with support. The goal is to improve the lot of the refugees and the local population in the host communities.