Derbas Denies Assistance Has Stopped for Syrian Refugeesإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas has denied that aid for Syrian refugees was cut because of obstacles placed by the Lebanese government.
“The assistance provided by the UNHCR (the U.N. refugee agency) has not stopped and Lebanon does not interfere in it,” Derbas told An Nahar newspaper published on Monday.
His comment came after reports that aid for the displaced Syrians had stopped in several areas.
Derbas also denied new refugees had come to Lebanon.
He said he was informed by the UNHCR that it had recently registered 1,400 new refugees for “humanitarian reasons.” But the Lebanese authorities rejected its move.
Although Lebanese border officials began informally restricting the entry of Syrians last October, Beirut officially imposed visa regulations earlier this month on visiting Syrians. The move was the first such in decades.
There are now around 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
The issue will be discussed during a one-day visit that German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier plans to make on May 15.
During his trip, Steinmeier is scheduled to meet with his Lebanese counterpart Jebran Bassil and Prime Minister Tammam Salam, said An Nahar.
The talks are expected to focus on the results of the Berlin conference that was held in October last year, it added.
During the conference, Steinmeier said his country had taken in 70,000 Syrians since 2012 and was prepared to do more but urged other European nations to also open their borders to Syrian refugees.