Miqati: Lebanon Needs over Billion Dollars in Aid to Syrian Refugees

Caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati reiterated on Monday Lebanon's plea to the international community to continue supporting the country in harboring Syrian refugees, while demanding that it is in need of more aid that exceeds a billion dollars.

He said that Lebanon needs around 1.850 billion dollars.

He made the announcement during the launch of the sixth report on the Lebanese government's plan to tackle the repercussions of the Syrian crisis at the Grand Serail.

The additional funds would be dedicated to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Palestinian refugees who fled their camps in Syria to Lebanon, the Lebanese residing in Syria who fled the country to Lebanon, and the Lebanese areas that are harboring all of these refugees, explained Miqati.

The funds would be aimed at providing the refugees with sufficient social protection.

They would also be used to meet their most pressing humanitarian needs, he added.

These funds would help offer stability at these communities and build bridges between the displaced and the Lebanese areas that have taken them in, he remarked.

“The Syrian crisis and remains a global issue, but its repercussions have affected Lebanon,” he said.

“The Lebanese government and people have presented aid to the Syrian refugees beyond their means and they are still offering this aid, making Lebanon an example of a state that has fulfilled its humanitarian role towards the displaced,” he stressed.

“We hope that you will continue on backing this example,” he said addressing the audience that included U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly, European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst, Deputy Special Representative for Lebanon and U.N. Resident Coordinator Robert Watkins, and a number of Arab and foreign ambassadors.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Monday that one of five people living in Lebanon are refugees who have fled the conflict in neighboring Syria,

The UNHCR says there are more than 842,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon but the actual figure could be even higher, Lebanese authorities believe.

An additional 52,000 Palestinians who were living in Syria have also taken refuge in Lebanon, the U.N.'s refugee agency said.

The UNHCR figures do not include hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees who have been living in Lebanon for decades, most of them in insalubrious camps across the country.

Lebanese authorities have refused to set up official camps for refugees from Syria. Many live in hundreds of unofficial tent settlements across the country, mainly on Lebanon's northern and eastern peripheries.

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