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With the establishment of a new ministry dedicated to refugee affairs, displaced Syrians in Lebanon are raising questions over the role the ministry will play to mitigate the challenges they face. Minister Mouin Merehbi was appointed as the first minister of state for refugee affairs in Prime Minister Saad Hariri's newly formed 30-member Cabinet Sunday after weeks of deliberations. There are over 1 million Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR in Lebanon, many of whom live in informal tented settlements across the country.In addition to Syrian refugees, Lebanon hosts just under 500,000 Palestinian refugees who are registered with the U.N. body for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. Kamel Kozbar, chair of the Union of Relief Organizations, said that establishing a ministry that deals with the affairs of refugees and assigning Merehbi as a minister is a step in the right direction.
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