UN urges support for Lebanon to host Syrian refugees

A senior United Nations humanitarian official calls on the international community to support Lebanon as the number of Syrian refugees continues to rise there.

“It is imperative that the international community helps bear the brunt of the pressure on Lebanon,” Ross Mountain, the Acting UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Lebanon, told a news conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

The UN official further noted that the number of Syria refugees in Lebanon is on track to reaching 1.5 million by the end of this year, saying, “It is unthinkable that it (Lebanon) should bear the brunt of this pressure without massive international support.”

He went on to say that such a large number of refugees is putting heavy pressure on public services and communities hosting the refugees.

“Already we are seeing signs of tension, not surprisingly, between the Syrians that are arriving and the Lebanese host communities. But the fear that many of us have is that, that mixed with other factors could mean rising tension between communities within Lebanon,” he added.

Mountain also pointed out that Lebanon is now the largest per capita recipient of refugees, saying the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered over 950,000 Syrian refugees in the country.

The Beirut government has repeatedly called upon the international community to fulfill their pledges to help Lebanon accommodate the high number of the Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their homeland, which heavily impacts the Lebanese economy.

In June 2013, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman urged the UN Security Council to pay more attention to the burden that the influx of Syrian refugees has had on Lebanon.

On September 30 last year, Lebanon’s Minister of Social Affairs Wael Abu Faour pleaded for more international support to tackle the huge influx of the refugees from Syria.

“We are calling on the international community to bear its responsibility,” he said.

Syria has been gripped by deadly crisis since 2011. According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – are supporting the militants operating inside the country.

By Press TV


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