Syrian refugees eat lunch outside their tent at a refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese border town of Arsal, Lebanon, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013. (The Associated Press/Bilal Hussein)
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In the last six years the war in Syria has killed over 465,000 and left half the country uprooted, with more than a million displaced in Lebanon alone.The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders (MSF) also increased its focus on development aid, in what it defines as the "third phase" of its humanitarian assistance to the Syrian people and to Lebanon.Lebanon is among the 10 countries in the world receiving the greatest share of international humanitarian assistance. According to data released by the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Lebanon received over $1.2 billion in humanitarian aid in 2016, which equates to 7.7 percent of global total international humanitarian funds for that year. However, if the refugee population in Lebanon returns to Syria, humanitarian actors predict that much of this donor money will move to support the return. The International Committee for the Red Cross, which has been catering to vulnerable populations who might otherwise miss out on humanitarian aid, envisages focusing more on infrastructure work that will benefit both the refugee population and the host community.Improvements to local infrastructure will enable Lebanon to better cope with the humanitarian sector's anticipated financial disengagement, once the refugee population returns to Syria.
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