BEIRUT: Ten thousand additional Syrians have registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, bringing the total number of Syrians receiving aid from the agency to more than 566,000, the U.N. organization said over the weekend. In its weekly update on the status of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, UNHCR also said that a further 110,000 were still awaiting registration.
The organization noted that Lebanon’s borders with Syria by and large remained open, although greater scrutiny of documents had resulted in a number of rejections of refugee’s applications for entry at border points.
The U.N. agency also said it was working closely with Lebanese authorities “to ensure access for persons in need of humanitarian assistance and international protection.”
Earlier this month, the Lebanese government enforced new border regulations requiring Syrians to provide valid identification and explain their reason for arrival.
Syrians with damaged identity documents are now no longer allowed to enter Lebanon.
The measures appear to have mostly affected Palestinian refugees coming from Syria.
Human Rights Watch said around 200 Palestinians were stranded between the Syrian and Lebanese borders early last week.
Caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour has said the new measures are aimed at organizing the refugees, and that some crossing into the country are falsely claiming to be refugees in order to benefit from the limited assistance being provided.
UNHCR said it was working with other agencies to develop plans for the coming winter season, the details of which would be finalized by next week.
The agency added that health awareness was a priority this week following the recent identification of three malnourished children in the Bekaa Valley.
As a result, agencies are working on early identification and ensuring children have access to specialized clinics.