Syrian refugees Lebanon
Syrian refugees sit outside their tents at al-Rawda refugee camp in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon Nov. 24, 2016. Reuters/Ali Hashisho

Furthering its reputation as an example to follow among wealthy nations, Canada has vowed to help alleviate the pressure on Lebanon caused by the ongoing refugee crisis in war-torn Syria. In a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart in the Middle East country Monday, Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Stephane Dion pledged 8 million Canadian dollars ($6 million) in “security, defense and stabilization assistance.”

As well as boosting efforts to prevent the expansion of the Islamic State, much of that aid will go toward supporting Lebanon in its housing of Syrian refugees.

“Canada and Lebanon have a strong and deeply rooted relationship, and our two countries continue to work closely together to achieve peace, security and stability in the Middle East,” Dion said. “We hope Canada’s support will help Lebanon and its host communities build resilience and cope with the ongoing crisis in the region.”

Around five million Syrians have fled the country since the war began almost six years ago. Lebanon has borne the largest burden in terms of refugees taken in per capita. The country houses more than 1.5 million refugees, which equates to 183 per 1,000 inhabitants, according to a report released in October by Amnesty International. Speaking alongside Dion, Lebanon’s Foreign Affairs Minister Gebran Bassil said that the cost of the refugee crisis to Lebanon had reached $13 billion.

The United States, in comparison, has taken in just 10,000 Syrian refugees.

The Amnesty International report was sharply critical of the efforts of the world’s wealthiest countries to help combat the crisis. However, it reserved special praise for Canada.

“Canada’s response to the Syrian crisis thus far shows that with leadership and vision, states can resettle large numbers of refugees in a timely manner,” it said.

Since Justin Trudeau took office as Canada’s prime minister in November 2015, the country has welcomed almost 36,000 refugees from Syria. A year ago, Trudeau was at Toronto’s airport to personally greet the first batch of refugees arriving from Beirut.

However, even Trudeau has conceded that Canada can still do more. Responding to criticisms over the lack of efficiency in providing information to refugees, Trudeau said Friday that "we have to make significant improvements in the immigration system.”