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Lebanon recognises Syrian refugees for first time

Lebanon recognises Syrian refugees for first time
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Lebanon is making its first formal plea for aid, to help refugees fleeing the continuing violence in neighbouring Syria.

The country’s cabinet has approved a plan to ask international donors for 180 million euros worth of support.
Officials will also start registering the 170 thousand refugees who have arrived in the small Mediterranean state.

Lebanon has been trying to distance itself from the conflict in Syria, fearing it will fan sectarian tensions at home.

“First of all, it was agreed that the Lebanese government would give aid and protect refugees in Lebanon. The launch of a diplomatic campaign was also approved,” said Wael Abu Faour, Lebanese Social Affairs Minister.

The United Nations says, in all, 560,000 Syrian refugees have now crossed into neighbouring countries.

In Lebanon, many who do not have family connections live in makeshift buildings made of wood and plastic sheeting.