BEIRUT: International aid to help Lebanon’s Syrian refugee population is falling short of expectations, caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour complained in remarks published Friday.
"The assistance brought [to Syrian refugees] is less than 50 percent of what is needed," Abu Faour told the local An-Nahar newspaper.
“The number of refugees is constantly changing and this is what happened after the launch of the battle in Qalamoun, near the eastern border with Lebanon,” he added.
Abu Faour also complained that the presence of 1,600 refugee sites across Lebanon and 431 “random” shelters has impeded his ministry’s work.
“We had to ask for help from the [Lebanese] Army to deliver aid to these refugees,” he said.
Abu Faour said the ministry’s priority was to come out of the current winter storm “with the least possible damage.”
“Thereafter, we will shift to serious discussions about setting up camps [for the Syrian refugees],” he said, pointing to the difficulties aid workers faced during the storm due to settlements in hard-to-reach locations.
Syrian refugees took the brunt of the harsh weather that has engulfed Lebanon since Wednesday.
The storm is expected to gradually come to an end by late Saturday.