U.N. Says One in Five Lebanon Residents Syria Refugees

إقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية W460

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

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.

One in five residents of Lebanon is a refugee coming from Syria, the UNHCR said, adding: "They live in 1,588 locations."

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.

Better-off refugees rent apartments in towns and cities, but face exorbitant rents.

The UNHCR said "30 percent live in substandard shelters" and 72 percent are "in need of continued humanitarian assistance."

The refugee crisis is also impacting Lebanon's population by stretching the country's resources, the agency said, putting the number of Lebanese affected by the influx at 1.2 million.

Of the Syrian refugees, 280,000 are children of school age, only 130,000 children of whom have been provided with education services, the UNHCR said.

Lebanon is hosting the highest number of refugees from Syria, while more than a million others have fled to Jordan and Turkey.

On Monday, the UNHCR said the number of Syrian refugees in the Middle East will nearly double over the next year to exceed four million, putting an enormous strain on neighboring countries.

The refugee crisis has brought serious economic and political challenges to Lebanon, where there are regular clashes linked to the war in Syria.

Lebanon is sharply divided over the war in Syria, whose regime dominated the small Mediterranean country militarily and politically for 30 years until 2005.

Comments 6
Thumb -phoenix1 16 December 2013, 15:07

This report is most troubling to be honest, most civilized countries would have reacted to a much lower per capita percentage. Yet it is tragic to say the least, that our politicians, all of them keep bickering among themselves, keep dividing the people, not wanting to accept that we are being invaded, this time by a neighbor without a uniform. Haven't we yet learned anything from the Palestinians? Can't we all just take a good look at what awaits us all if we do not take concrete steps to have a new cabinet at the very earliest? When will Lebanese act, when it's just too late? We are known for doing things at the last moment, and in fact too little, but this time we have a game changing situation, we might as well smarten up if we don't want to become strangers in our own land.

Thumb AntiSheepism 16 December 2013, 17:56

phoenix good to see you again. The politicians keep reminding us every day what an incompetent bunch of self absorbed, narcisstic and greedy buffoons they all are. You have to understand something which I'm sure you do already. This country will never be united as one. Never it can't be any clearer. We will be dissolved and reformed into whatever map the middle east will end up being.

Thumb -phoenix1 16 December 2013, 20:48

@illusionoflebanon, good to be back brother, actually what you said is something I also fear a lot, no one knows these days with what we have around.

Thumb AntiSheepism 16 December 2013, 17:56

We are a country where no sect agrees with the other on their identity. It might be too late now but the only hope of a sustainable future would have been partition. They want to liberate Palestine they can be my guest. They can then drag their own country into it. They want to fight their jihadi war... again be my guest. They want to speak Farsi then again they can do whatever the heck they want in their own little country. I just want to live in peace, prosper, build a fair society etc....

We just don't all see eye to eye.

This syrian refugees crisis is a huge burden which we as a country cannot possibly bare. Can you imagine when they reach 2 million, how about 3 million. I mean who's stopping or regulating their influx. My heart goes to them. I feel for them deeply (7aram) bas if this continues it will be 7aram Libnane

Thumb geha 16 December 2013, 17:43

just imagine that we have now more Syrians than shia.
imagine that all these Syrians hate hizbushaitan and their cronies.
now tell me what do you expect will happen in the near future in Lebanon?

Thumb cedre 16 December 2013, 20:50

Those syrians supported hizbos in the past, welcomed shias refugees in 2006.