Lebanon News

WHO: 1.5 million refugees expected in Lebanon

Syrian refugees run for cover from a snow storm in Zahle, Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2013. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)

BEIRUT: The World Health Organization said Thursday that an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees were expected to enter Lebanon in 2014, adding that $16.7 million was needed to help the country's health sector deal with the influx.

In a report detailing WHO’s response to the Syrian crisis in Lebanon in 2014, the organization said the rising number of refugees also increased the vulnerability of 1 million Lebanese people.

Local officials have said around 1.3 million refugees, including the 880,000 registered or awaiting registration with the UNHCR, have entered the country. The government has called on the international community to help Lebanon cope with the issue.

In 2013, WHO said it had enhanced the capacity of Lebanon's health system to respond to chemical, biological and nuclear hazards through innovative training and the provision of equipment and guidelines.

Among other things, WHO said it also strengthened disease surveillance and response by training a total of 1,525 school staff and providing technical assistance for communicable diseases to the Health Ministry.

In its 2014 projections, WHO said it required a total of $16.7 million to acquire medical equipment, medications, adult vaccines and contingency supplies as well as conduct its polio outbreak response and youth health preparedness programs.





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