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Derbas: Lebanon can't take socio-economic refugees

Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas poses for a picture at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)

BEIRUT: Lebanon cannot endure the influx of socio-economic Syrian refugees, Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas said Tuesday, suggesting limiting refugee reception to those fleeing violence.

“If Syrian refugees are coming to Lebanon from areas where there is no fighting, this means this is a social and economic displacement that Lebanon cannot bear,” Derbas told the Voice of Lebanon radio station.

He said that among the suggestions he made during a conference on Syrian refugees held in Jordan was to link displacement to fighting.

Derbas also called for the establishment of reception centers in safe areas inside Syrian territory under U.N. supervision.

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk has said there are 1 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, equaling 27 percent of the country’s population, in addition to an additional 300,000 who are unregistered.

Jordan, he said, hosts some 600,000 Syrian refugees, making up 10 percent of its population, while there are 800,000 Syrian refugees in Turkey, constituting only 4 percent of its population.

 

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