Syria willing to receive 180,000 refugees from Lebanon: Lebanese minister

Xinhua , Tuesday 1 Aug 2023

Syria has expressed its willingness to receive 180,000 displaced refugees from Lebanon at the first stage, said Lebanese Minister of the Displaced Issam Charafeddine on Tuesday.

Syrian refugees
Children sit by as a woman washes dishes in a plastic basin outside a tent at a make-shift camp for Syrian refugees in Talhayat in the Akkar district in north Lebanon. AFP


"We have reached an understanding with the Syrian government to resolve the crisis of the displaced safely," Charafeddine was quoted as saying by the Elnashra news website.

"There is mutual trust with the Syrian side and a commitment to the understanding reached last year regarding the safe return of the displaced," Charafeddine said, adding that shelter centers have been ready to receive the displaced and provide them with facilities, health care, and education.

The minister said he had proposed forming a tripartite committee with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and Syria but was rejected on the ground of instability in Syria.

The UNHCR reported that Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees per capita and per square km in the world.

According to statistics released by the Lebanese government, around 2 million Syrian refugees are living in Lebanon, a country with a population of more than 5.5 million.

The Lebanese government insists on returning Syrian refugees to their homeland as the country is facing its worst socio-economic crisis in decades and can no longer meet the growing needs of refugees. 

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