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    Syrian refugees in Lebanon

    Over 1.5Mln Syrian Refugees Place Heavy Burden on 4-Mln Lebanon

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    Middle East
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    Lebanon has accepted two million refugees while its population is only four millions, the country's foreign minister said.

    BEIRUT (Sputnik) — Some 1.5 million Syrian and about 500,000 Palestinian refugees residing on Lebanese territory are an impairment to the country's stability, Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said Friday.

    "Just think about it, poor Lebanon with four million population, accepted two million refugees, while rich Europe, which has 500 million population, has been arranging during a month to accept 120,000 refugees… This crisis has devastating consequences [for Lebanon] in the areas of security, economy, social sphere and ecology," Bassil said addressing a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of 77 plus China in New York City.

    Beirut does not receive enough aid and long-term loans that include concessionary conditions to help mitigate the crisis, the minister added.

    The Syrian civil war is responsible for the highest refugee population in the world, with over four million refugees having fled Syria to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt, according to the UN data. In recent months, tens of thousands of Syrians fled to the European Union.

    Lebanon has spent over $7 billion to support refugees over the last four years, according to internal record keeping, while the country's external debt amounts to about $70 billion.


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