14 May 2015
Rashid Derbas, The Social Affairs Minister, said on Wednesday, The influx of Syrian refugees to Lebanon is the “most dangerous” crisis which Lebanon has experienced in recent years, sounding the alarm over the consequences of the Syrian presence in the country, he warned that the brunt of the crisis has been ignored for the past three years, during which time the number of unofficial camps in Lebanon has risen to 1,700. He said, the government, has no control over the informal settings.
The minister was speaking during an annual Sagesse University conference tackling the Syrian refugee crisis with a specific focus on the future implications for Lebanon.
He stressed, during the conference, that that the government has been keen on perceiving refugees as those affected by the crisis in their war-torn country. However, he said, the crisis has had serious spillover effects on various levels of Lebanon’s infrastructure and administration.
Derbas said the refugee influx has affected Lebanon’s education and health service delivery, environment, infrastructure, economy, demography and security.
Adding that Lebanon is fragile and can no longer bear the burden of hosting refugees, and he calling on the international community to do its part “We are not a repository for the displaced of war.”, he called Arabs and the international community to take responsibility in sharing the burden of the crisis with Lebanon.