UN: Quarter of World's Refugees Are Syrians, Lebanon Turning Syrian Refugees Away

Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Wednesday, January 07, 2015

UN: Quarter of World's Refugees Are Syrians, Lebanon Turning Syrian Refugees Away


Lebanese officials said this week that Syrians who are trying to enter the country must obtain visas before coming into Lebanon.

 

Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk announced this week that Lebanon will not accept any more Syrian refugees.

 

"We have enough," Machnouk stated. "There's no capacity anymore to host more displaced."

 

Previously, the Syrian families were allowed to stay in Lebanon for up to six months.

 

It is estimated that there are more than one million Syrians in Lebanon, according to BBC News.

 

Said Machnouk’s adviser Khalil Jebara: The government had done “all that it could” to help the refugees. “But it's also clear to most Lebanese that this situation cannot continue... because it will affect not only the Lebanese but finally it will affect the Syrian refugees in Lebanon if Lebanon descends into chaos.”

 

Now, Syrian refugees must qualify for a visa or have a sponsor to enter Lebanon. 

 

According to the United Nations, Syrians are now the largest refugee population beside Palestinians that have fled to escape violence in their homeland.

 

As of mid-2014, there were more than 3 million Syrians of the nearly 13 million refugees worldwide being helped by the UN. 

 

"As long as the international community continues to fail to find political solutions to existing conflicts and to prevent new ones from starting, we will continue to have to deal with the dramatic humanitarian consequences," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a statement.

 

 

Publication date: January 7, 2015

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