Number of Syrian refugees passes 5 million: United Nations

Posted April 02, 2017

English edition of Asharq Al-Awsat - the world's premier pan-Arab daily.

The prime minister will spearhead a delegation from Lebanon that will be attending the Brussels Conference on Wednesday, which aims at supporting Syrian refugees.

There are now more than 5 million Syrian refugees displaced around the world.

However, there has not been an outburst of violence between Syrian refugees and Lebanese host communities thus far.

"I fear civil unrest", he said.

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"With fewer resources we now have to help more people", she told AFP.

Unlike Palestinian refugees who live in camps managed by the United Nations, Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in informal camps. But Hariri stresses that such aid is not enough. He also said Lebanon's infrastructure was made to sustain four million people but the same infrastructure is now bearing 6 million people due to the presence of Syrian and Palestinian refugees.

Speaking after talks in Ankara, he added there was "no space" between Turkey and the U.S. over fighting the so-called Islamic State group - even as his Turkish counterpart reiterated a key point of discord.

In his bid to increase foreign investment, Hariri's plan to help Lebanon's economic and security situation compels the global community to commit to spending the equivalent of $10,000 to $12,000 per refugee over a span of five to seven years, as opposed to the current level of financial support corresponding to an annual $1,000 to $1,200.

"Some say we should have refugee camps in Lebanon, I say Lebanon has become a big refugee camp", Hariri said.

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The number of students at schools has risen from 200,000 to 450,000 in the past six years, Hariri said.

The UN refugee agency UNHCR urged more global assistance, with spokeswoman Cecile Pouilly calling the figure an "important milestone".

"Some say we should have refugee camps in Lebanon".

Another refugee-related problem is electricity.

He says he will present a comprehensive plan to deal with the burden of Syrian displacement in Brussels and ask for worldwide support.

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