Lebanon to send delegation to Syria to solve refugee crisis

Beirut, Jun 6 (IANS): A Lebanese ministerial delegation will visit Syria soon to discuss the return of displaced Syrians to their homeland, a top official said.

"Steps are being prepared first to hold a consultative meeting of Lebanese ministers with caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati this week, during which an understanding will be reached on everything related to the visit," Minister of the Displaced Issam Charafeddine was quoted as saying by local media.

He added that Lebanon is adopting the approach of safe deportation of Syrian refugees, which is slow and voluntary without any forced return, reports Xinhua news agency.

He explained that "the safe deportation of displaced Syrians is supposed to start from the camps that contain 350,000 refugees, where a list of the names of the displaced in these camps will be prepared to be presented to the Director of General Security in Lebanon".

It will be presented to the Syrian National Security through the Lebanese Ministry of Interior, he added.

Lebanese authorities have repeatedly called on the international community to assist the country in returning Syrian refugees to their homeland as it suffers from a dire financial crisis and can no longer host many displaced people on its territories.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, Lebanon is currently facing its worst socioeconomic crisis in decades and hosts the highest number of refugees per capita and per square kilometre worldwide.

The government estimates 1.5 million Syrian refugees and 13,715 refugees of other nationalities.

Ninety per cent of Syrian refugees are living in extreme poverty, with the majority of them settled in the Bekaa region.

While prices are skyrocketing due to a severe economic crisis, almost half of the Lebanese and 2/3 of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees are food insecure.

Some 90 per cent of Syrians, 73 per cent of Palestinian refugees, and over 50 per cent of Lebanese households currently need assistance.

Lebanon has struggled to deal with emergencies like the Beirut port blast, Covid-19, and a cholera outbreak earlier this year.


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Title: Lebanon to send delegation to Syria to solve refugee crisis

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