Lebanon News

Number of Syrian refugees registered with UN jumps by 400 in one week

Protestors in Tripoli burn photos of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Antoine Amrieh

BEIRUT: The number of Syrians registered with the U.N. High Commission for Refugees and the Lebanese Higher Relief Committee in the north of the country has increased by over 400 persons in the last week alone, one of the largest waves since the uprising in Syria began last March, according to the latest report from the U.N. body. There are now 5,663 Syrian refugees registered in the north of Lebanon, although the report states that “a number of displaced Syrians had crossed into Lebanon earlier but just this week approached our office.”

Lebanon witnessed an influx of around 5,000 Syrians, displaced from violence at home, last April, although this number quickly fell, with many returning home. But over the last few months, the number of Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon has been steadily increasing.

The report states that the vast majority of refugees “express fear and anxiety about returning and most do not feel that the situation is safe enough for them to do so yet.”

Residents in the north, the report states, have said that “the heavy presence of the Syrian army in border areas, as well as the presence of land mines on the Syrian side, prevents more people from fleeing to Lebanon.”

Around 150 wounded Syrians have been treated in Lebanese hospitals since the uprising began, with expenses related to their treatment covered by the HRC, with treatment and needs followed up by the UNHCR.

The UNHCR is also providing psychological counseling to refugees, and assisting people with “specific needs, especially vulnerable children and survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence [SGBV].”

Separately, worshippers showed their support for the Syrian uprising after Friday prayer sat the Hamza Mosque in the Qibbeh neighborhood of Tripoli, near Salaheddine Mosque in the northern town of Baddawi, and at the mosque in the Bekaa village of Taalbaya.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on January 21, 2012, on page 2.




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