Fate of HRC’s Support for Syrian Refugees Unclear

Audit Bureau chief Judge Aouni Ramadan said the paperwork of the funding for the Higher Relief Council would be approved on Wednesday after Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour warned that the body would stop helping Syrians displaced by their country’s unrest on Thursday.

The announcement of the approval of the $2 million funds will be made at 10:00 am Wednesday, Ramadan told An Nahar daily.

His remark came a day after Abu Faour said the HRC will cease helping the thousands of Syrians escaping the Assad regime’s crackdown on protestors if the transfer of funds is not made.

The HRC also warned last week that if additional funding was not provided by the government, it would cease offering support for the refugees.

Abu Faour said that the decision to fund the HRC through a treasury advance was made by the cabinet a month ago and referred to the Audit Bureau on March 8.

He warned that Lebanon would face an international embarrassment if the HRC doesn’t carry out its work.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said in its latest report that there are currently nearly 8,000 refugees in northern Lebanon. It also said some 5,000 displaced Syrians have found their way in the Bekaa valley and south of Beirut.

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