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Lebanon to hold fourth regional meeting for refugee host countries

  • United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres, speaks during the third Ministerial Coordination Meeting of Major Host Countries for Syrian Refugees, at Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq, Jordan, Sunday, May 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

BEIRUT: Lebanon will host the fourth ministerial coordination meeting of countries hosting Syrian refugees, scheduled to take place June 20, according to Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Judeh said the meeting, to take place in Beirut, would follow up on decisions reached during a meeting held between officials over the weekend in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp, as well as previous meetings in Geneva and Turkey.

Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas attended the meeting in Jordan and was accompanied by foreign ministers from Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, as well as the deputy foreign minister from Egypt. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres was also present and after the gathering reproached donors for not doing enough to help millions of displaced Syrian refugees.

Before boarding a plane to Amman for the one-day conference, Derbas said that Lebanon could no longer tolerate the burden of Syrian refugees without international aid, slamming the international and Arab community for not doing enough.

“The Cabinet agreed that Lebanon’s position at the conference would be as such: Lebanon surpassed its capabilities in light of an absence of real aid to support host communities,” Derbas said at the airport.

“We will not make demands at this conference; we are heading there to inform them of Lebanon’s position so they – the UNHCR, the United Nations and Arab and foreign countries – can adapt,” he added.

Syria’s civil war has generated one of the worst refugee crises in living memory, with half the population having fled their homes, including about three million refugees taking shelter in neighboring countries. With over 1 million registered refugees, Lebanon is hosting the highest number of displaced Syrians.

“This enormous impact is not being fully recognized by the international community,” Guterres said at the meeting. “Let me be very clear, there has been very little support.”

The officials concluded the meeting by agreeing to meet again in June.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on May 05, 2014, on page 3.
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Summary

Lebanon will host the fourth ministerial coordination meeting of countries hosting Syrian refugees, scheduled to take place June 20, according to Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Before boarding a plane to Amman for the one-day conference, Derbas said that Lebanon could no longer tolerate the burden of Syrian refugees without international aid, slamming the international and Arab community for not doing enough.

With over 1 million registered refugees, Lebanon is hosting the highest number of displaced Syrians.


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