Ban Says Dealing with Burden of Refugees More Difficult Amid Lack of New Cabinet

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U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the “complicated” situation in Lebanon was exacerbated by the pressure of Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting in their country.

“The situation in Lebanon is very much complicated,” Ban said in his year-end press conference in New York on Monday.

“On top of the lack of government formation, then this tragic humanitarian pressure and burden really makes (the situation for the) Lebanese government and people much, much more difficult,” he said.

Ban told reporters that he has been discussing this matter with President Michel Suleiman and caretaker Prime Minister Najib Miqati.

Peter Kessler, UNHCR senior regional spokesman, said Monday at least 120,000 Syrians seek shelter in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq every month.

"The needs are enormous and the host countries cannot meet them on their own. They need help," Kessler told the Associated Press by phone from the Lebanese border town of Arsal, where the population has skyrocketed.

Lebanon has been particularly hard hit, because the government kept the borders open and no formal refugee camps have been established.

The refugees are scattered all over the country, and mostly live in informal tented settlements in the North and in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

More than 20 percent of Lebanon's inhabitants are now Syrians, who have fled the fighting, Kessler said.

Ban warned that the number of refugees may reach soon reach 1 million in Lebanon alone.

Suleiman and Miqati “are appealing to lessen” and alleviate this “extraordinary burden,” he said in response to a question.

“I am very much sympathetic about that. That is why I have established the International Support Group for Lebanon last September to discuss all political, security and humanitarian issues focused on Lebanon,” he said.

The U.N. chief promised to continue with that support.

The support group was inaugurated in New York on the sidelines of the 68th session of the General Assembly.

It undertook to work together to mobilize support for the sovereignty and state institutions of Lebanon and to highlight and promote efforts to assist the country where it was most affected by the Syrian crisis, including in respect of strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces, assistance to refugees, and structural and financial support to the government.

Comments 11
Missing --karim_m3-- 17 December 2013, 08:54

No ya mastool, dealing with burden of refugees is more difficult when the countries that are sending billions to arm and finance the FSA-Al Qaeda terrorists do not send a single Lebanese pound to help the refugees.

Thumb liberty 17 December 2013, 09:25

Every penny the Lebanese government is spending on refugees is from outside help. It is not enough, yes.

Thumb cedar 17 December 2013, 10:00

The Lebanese Government cannot afford these refugees, nor the Palestinian refugees for that matter.
And the world really doesn't care because if they did - the refugees needs would be accommodated for and fully funded.

Thumb -phoenix1 17 December 2013, 13:13

Mr. Ban, everything is inherently more difficult without a cabinet, not just the refugee matter but in fact everything. But try telling that to our corrupt Lebanese politicians, you will be startled to realize that when the Lebanese engage each other into a fight, they will stop at nothing quite literally. Refugee problems, other problems and God knows we have tons of them, all of these make no difference to our M8 and M14 politicians, what matters Mr. Ban is that they will not cede an inch to the other, even if that means sacrificing all the people of Lebanon. I think we have now reached the stage where Lebanon needs to be put under UN administration, just like in Kosovo, but then, our situation is a lot more challenging you see? What's clear though is this: We Lebanese will never learn anything, not now, not ever.

Thumb FlameCatcher 17 December 2013, 14:06

Ban : the refugees in Lebanon are here mainly as a consequence of Bashar's butchering of his citizens with the support of Hezbollah.

Hezbollah's government will not help you in assisting these refugees because they don't care about them... they are too involved in their Syrian war to care about Lebanon. They also need these refugees to "rise up" against them to justify their illegal actions in Syria ! They need the excuse of "protecting Lebanon" from them to cover for their massacres.

Don't send money to this HA government to help the refugees, take matter into your own hands and ignore this illegitimate party and their illegitimate government.

Create and enforce a UN resolution to come in a clean up the mess using force if necessary...

Thumb FlameCatcher 17 December 2013, 16:42

@Purr : this is not a request from M14, it's a request from the majority of Lebanese who want to put an end to your bipolar illusion of M14/M8. And more importantly, put an end to Hebzollah's weapons and complete disregard of our laws.

There is a difference between a gutless kid, an unarmed kid and a bully. A bully uses weapons, war to impose his views. A normal human being uses "words" and common sense. Something you clearly lack... at the end, bullies end up like worthless criminals like Hezbollah while your "normal kids" build the future of your country.

Now go play in your kindergarden with your gutless kids and bullies. While you're at it drop your pants for more bullying because you seem to be enjoying every inch of their kalashnikovs !

Thumb FlameCatcher 17 December 2013, 17:08

You seem to be well rehearsed on the subject of "MFAO". It's clear "L" is not the only thing you do with your "A"!

Victims are your 1.5M syrians in Lebanon and elsewhere. Victims are jobless Lebanese, ruined businesses and all Lebanese citizens who are not hired, fed and hospitalized by the great Iranian "Charity" organisation that is Kezballah.

Thumb FlameCatcher 17 December 2013, 16:56

I don't pray. Unlike you, I don't need to use "god", god's name, or hide behind "Religious" causes to endocrinate and brainwash the masses of ignorant victims you turn into sheep.

Using God's name holding a kalashnikov on my flag ? Wow, how grandiose of Hassan Kezballah.

You can do all the praying yourself... but god doesn't have time for you. He's too busy taking care of your victims !

Thumb FlameCatcher 17 December 2013, 17:15

I don't pray. Where do you see praying ? Why do you twist my words to fit your stupid and baseless point of view ?

I accuse Ban and the international community of being all words and no action !

And I'm not calling on him to come disarm Hezbollah. I'm calling on him to help the refugees which are your victims (I know you enjoy their situation... LYAO all you want about that).

I don't need to use force to fight Hezbollah. Hezbollah will crumble on its own from the inside.

And Hezbollah will be disarmed ! No doubt about that. The only question is whether they will disarm by force or by their own will.

Thumb FlameCatcher 17 December 2013, 17:39

Mess = 1.5M Syrian refugees you imbecile!

According to you, they all live in Disneyworld in magical castles and beautiful tree houses ?

Don't hide from the consequences of your actions !

If you consider the mess to be Hezbollah, that's on you!

And if Hezbollah will block the deployment and distribution of humanitarian aid, then they should be dealt with by force !

Thumb FlameCatcher 18 December 2013, 12:06

@Purr : "You're the only one I see crying"

A blind sheep doesn't see much :)

And I'm not crying ... Aoun cries ... I expose you for the scum that you and Hezbollah are.

That's the difference between me and your likes.

I fight you with words and you fight with bullets and eliminate your opponent because you are incapable of reason or thought !