Report: Europeans Regard Lebanon Refugee Efforts with 'Skepticism'
The meetings held by Lebanese parties at the Brussels III conference reflected European “skepticism” about Lebanon's efforts towards the displaced Syrians, and “pessimism” about the commitments promised in the past years in that regard, Asharq al-Awsat daily reported on Thursday.
The daily added that representatives of the European Union, during their participation in the conference, “sensed no signs of Syrian refugee returns in 2019 and 2020,” stressing that it must be both “secure and voluntary.”
Dr. Nasser Yassin, Research Director at the American University of Beirut's Issam Fares Institute, and a conference participant, drew attention to the “donors commitment to supporting Lebanon, with emphasis on the role of the new government by initiating serious and genuine reforms, but that has not happened yet,” he told the daily.
“This pessimism about Lebanon's ability to carry out reforms stems from previous Brussels experiences as well as other issues related to reforms called by the CEDRE Conference," Yassin said.
He notes that one of the most important commitments not yet implemented by Lebanon, which receives the largest share of aid among the countries of asylum estimated at $1.2 billion, is embodied in the "complex procedures" for residency permit documents.
On the other hand, donors stress the importance of ensuring the necessary living conditions for refugees in Lebanon and ensure that assistance reaches those who truly need it in terms of health and education.
At Brussels conference, Lebanon is asking for $ 2.5 billion in long-term assistance to refugees and host communities, including several sectors, most notably education and health.