Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 26 July 2014

Miller tells of Lebanon visit

Sienna Miller visited Lebanon with the International Medical Corp

Actress Sienna Miller has spoken of her "nerve-wracking" experience of visiting Lebanon to see the effect the Syrian civil war is having there and in surrounding countries.

During her trip with the International Medical Corps a bomb blast ripped through a checkpoint in the Beqaa valley, killing two people and wounding 18, just 20 minutes after she had passed through.

Miller told ITV News: "I think whenever you're in the Middle East, and especially in a country like Lebanon which has some pretty hostile neighbours at the moment, I think there's always the risk of something happening, but obviously to be here and experience that that close, it's nerve-wracking, but it goes to show that the work International Medical Corps are doing in this region is very heroic and really necessary.

"What the International Medical Corps does, which is so fantastic, is provide training and resources so that locals can empower themselves. It means a country is self-sufficient - locals helping locals, which is empowering and dignified."

Miller described the situation as "the greatest refugee crisis in the world" as at least 1.1 million people registered in Lebanon, a quarter of the nation's population, are Syrian refugees.

She said it is probably "closer to 1.5 and within Lebanon about 9 million are displaced", and urged the wider world to remember that "these people have lost everything".

Hosting nations such as Lebanon and Jordan are under immense pressure from lack of funding and resources to cope with the situation so it is important that the world stays focused on this crisis and the donations do not dry up, she said.

Miller said she felt for the families who were suffering in the crisis.

"These people came from a place that was pretty well functioning, Syria was doing all right. Obviously it had its problems but most of these people had homes, they were working people, and to have all of that taken away with no real possibility of getting it back is impossible," she said.

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