Derbas Urges Joint Action with Jordan to Resolve Refugee Crisisإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas has called for joint Lebanese-Jordanian action to establish safe areas in Syria to help the refugees return to their country.
“There is a need for joint Lebanese-Jordanian work to ask for safe areas in Syria,” Derbas told An Nahar daily published on Tuesday.
“This issue should be the first item on the agenda of an international conference on the Syrian crisis that is being prepared for,” he said.
Lebanese authorities have repeatedly called for the establishment of safe areas in Syria mainly on the border with Lebanon. But their demand has not been met with a positive reaction.
An estimated 4 million people have fled Syria, with more than half of the country's population displaced.
Amnesty International warned on Monday that the situation is particularly "desperate" for the four million displaced Syrians, 95 percent of whom live in five countries neighboring Syria – Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
Amnesty said that these countries were being overwhelmed by "such huge burdens.”
"No country should be left to deal with a massive humanitarian emergency with so little help from others, just because it happens to share a border with a country in conflict," said Salil Shetty, Amnesty's secretary general.
The London-based NGO said Lebanon in particular had received only 18 percent of the international funding it needs to support refugees and strained host communities.
"Lebanon must be commended for granting sanctuary to over one million refugees from Syria," said Amnesty's refugee researcher, Khairunissa Dhala, in Beirut.