U.N. Chief: Lebanon Hosting Syrian Refugees Equal to 25% of Population
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has praised Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey for taking in millions of refugees from the war in Syria, which is now in its fifth year.
“Lebanon is hosting Syrian refugees equal in number to 25 per cent of its population,” Ban told a news conference on Wednesday less than 10 days before world leaders gather at the U.N. Headquarters in New York for general debate of the 70th session of the General Assembly.
“Jordan is also a major per capita host, providing shelter to Syrians equal to almost 10 per cent of its population,” he said.
“Nearly 10 per cent of Syria’s pre-war population -- some 2 million people -- today live in Turkey,” Ban stated.
“I commend those countries that are admirably doing all they can for people in need,” he told the news conference.
The U.N. chief cited Germany, Sweden and Austria "for opening up doors and showing solidarity" and applauded Britain and Kuwait for providing financial aid to address the refugee crisis.
But he made clear that other European countries were lacking in their response.
"I ask those standing in the way of the rights of refugees to stand in their shoes," he said.
"People facing barrel bombs and brutality in their country will continue to seek life in another. People with few prospects at home will continue to seek opportunity elsewhere."
"This is natural. It is what any of us would do for ourselves and for our children."