News / Middle East

Lebanon Wants Help Dealing With Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees shovel away water pooled outside their tents after heavy rain, at a center funded by the International Islamic Relief Organization of Saudi Arabia (IIROSA), which provides shelter for Syrian refugees in al-Marj, in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon, January 7, 2013.
Syrian refugees shovel away water pooled outside their tents after heavy rain, at a center funded by the International Islamic Relief Organization of Saudi Arabia (IIROSA), which provides shelter for Syrian refugees in al-Marj, in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon, January 7, 2013.
Paige Kollock
The Lebanese government plans to keep its border with Syria open to refugees, but it wants more aid from other Arab states and the international community. To that end, the Lebanese government has called for an urgent meeting of the Arab League in Egypt.

Number of Syrian Refugees by Country

  • Lebanon: 177,654
  • Jordan: 167,959
  • Turkey: 148,441
  • Iraq: 67,720
  • Egypt: 13,059

Source: UNHCR
With some 200,000 Syrian refugees, Lebanon has the most people fleeing the continuing violence of any of Syria's neighbors. And with the flow over the Lebanese-Syrian border unceasing, the Lebanese government has called for an emergency meeting of the Arab League in Cairo set for Sunday.
 
"Lebanon right now, a bit late, but … is recognizing the size of the problem, recognizing that this refugee issue may last longer than it was expected to last and therefore will seek assistance and support from donors and groups or countries providing support to the refugees," said Imad Salamey, a political science professor at Lebanese American University.
 
Lebanese have two main concerns about the influx of refugees.

One is sectarian.  Because the refugees are mostly Sunni Muslim, some fear their large numbers will upset the delicate balance in Lebanon, which is a mix of Shi'ites, Sunnis, Christians, Druze and others.

A second concern is economic - that the government is not equipped financially to cope with the influx.

The situation is further complicated in that Hezbollah - a political and militant faction - has the upper hand in the country's legislature.  Hezbollah supports the Syrian regime, an alliance which analyst Salamey said could hamper aid efforts by Western or Gulf countries to Lebanon.

"The politics of the current government may hinder significantly financial support, knowing that this government is largely sympathetic to the Syrian regime," he said.

Calls by some Lebanese political parties last week to close the Lebanese-Syrian border - or at least restrict the number of refugees - were soundly rejected. But those calls are likely to surface again as the refugees continues to stream into Lebanon.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anonymous
January 12, 2013 12:30 AM
The world should to provide help for those in need.
As well it would be great for the world to do more for the Syrians than Bashar al Assad has.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid