Syrian refugees in Lebanon urge UN to solve crisis
As the world marks refugee day on Saturday, Syrian refugees in Lebanon have called on the United Nations to find a solution for the Syrian crisis and to send them back to their country.
In the town of Bar Elias near the Syrian border in East Lebanon, refugees in Al-Hindi camp are living in dire conditions and lacking food supplies.
The camp hosts 450 Syrian refugees from Homs, Damascus and Quneitra provinces who live in 68 tents.
Speaking to the Associated Press on Friday ahead of World Refugee Day, Khaled Shehada, a 68-year Syrian refugee from Homs province said people in the camp were living below the poverty line.
He pleaded with the United Nations to send him back to his country.
He said: "We have been here for ten years, it is becoming too long. With the current expensive life conditions here (in Lebanon) people are now below zero (poverty line)."
The influx of Syrian refuges to the small Middle Eastern neighbouring country Lebanon has weakened the vulnerable state and negatively impacted its economy and infrastructure.
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Lebanon has suffered in recent years from a lack of economic growth, high unemployment and a drop in hard currency inflows from abroad.
But the financial crisis erupted after nationwide protests over widespread corruption and decades of mismanagement by the ruling political class engulfed the country in October last year.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' spokesperson in Lebanon, Lisa Abou Khaled called on the international community and donor countries to keep supporting Lebanon and the refugees.
"Our appeal today to the international community and the donor countries is to continue and stay supportive of Lebanon in these difficult circumstances and also to continue supporting the people who need help, whether Lebanese or refugees, to pass this difficult crisis," Abou Khaled said.
Lebanon, a country with 5 million inhabitants, has absorbed more that 1.5 million Syrians since the start of the Syrian crisis nine years ago.
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