More than a quarter of Lebanon’s population is now made up of Syrian refugees, and many Lebanese people are calling on their government to take more action to control the influx.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, there were 659,645 Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon and 150,391 awaiting registration – as of September 24.
One resident complained: “We can’t afford the burden of all these Syrian refugees arriving in Lebanon. What’s the government doing about it and why don’t they create camps for them?”
Another said: “We must take them in. Syria also received Lebanese people during the civil war. But the ability of Syria at that time was more than our ability now to receive refugees. Lebanon is a small country geographically and demographically.”
Lebanese MP, and caretaker prime minister, Najib Mekati, told euronews’ Daleen Hassan that the government does have a handle on the situation.
Mekati said: “We will not abandon our duties to the Syrian people. The Lebanese government is in control of the refugee situation, making sure that the number doesn’t keep increasing – through certain measures, such as intensifying border controls.”
With more than a quarter of country’s population now made up of Syrian refugees – the Lebanon’s President Michel Suleiman has called on UN member states to pledge more financial aid to assist in dealing with the crisis.