World not sharing Syrian refugee burden, says Lebanon

Lebanon`s President Michel Suleiman said on Friday that the international community was not sufficiently sharing the burden of displaced Syrians with Lebanon.

Updated: Oct 18, 2013, 15:59 PM IST

Beirut: Lebanon`s President Michel Suleiman said on Friday that the international community was not sufficiently sharing the burden of displaced Syrians with Lebanon.

According to a statement by his media office, Suleiman told the ambassadors of major powers and the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly that the Syrian refugees have put a severe strain on Lebanon`s economy and "the participation of countries in sharing this burden is not sufficient", Xinhua reported.

He added that "we should follow up the funding mechanism through the support of the World Bank" in reference to the pledges made at the International Support Group for Lebanon meeting that was held in New York in September.
Suleiman reiterated the need to establish UN-protected refugee camps inside Syria to facilitate the return of the displaced.

The New York meeting announced $339 million in additional humanitarian aid in response to the Syrian crisis, including $74 million for Lebanon to support Syrian refugees.

Suleiman said the meeting was "successful", but stressed "there should be an encouragement to hold a new donors conference to assess the funding announced at the Kuwait conference".

According to the latest UN High Commissioner for Refugees report, there are currently over 792,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, and the figure is expected to reach one million by the year`s end.

IANS