The second and final day of the French president’s visit to Lebanon took him to the Bekaa Valley camp for Syrians, in the east of the country.
There, François Hollande spoke to some of the Syrian families due to be resettled in France as part of a plan announced on Saturday (April 16).
“I have decided that France must work on your side. As such, French aid to the refugees in Lebanon will be increased to 50 million euros this year and 100 million euros over the next three years,” the French leader said.
The middle-eastern nation currently hosts more than one million refugees from neighbouring Syria; representing a quarter of its normal population.
Hollande’s announcement came a matter of days after the release of a report by anti-slavery activist group The Freedom Fund, which found a growing number of Syrian children in Lebanon are “forced to work for little or no pay.” Almost all of those in Bekaa Valley are working in the fields, with many being exposed to harmful chemicals, according to the report.
The French president also pledged additional French military aid to Lebanon, which has been without a president since May 2014.