Picture via UNHCR
Here’s a sum up of what United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said during an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour:
– Lebanon could collapse under the weight of the massive influx of Syrian refugees
– Without economic and financial support, and an increased effort to share the burden of Syrian refugees, “Lebanon [does] not [have] the possibility to go on with the present situation.
– Twenty-five percent of the Lebanese population today is Syrian.
– We have more Syrian students in Lebanese public schools than Lebanese students.
– Lebanon has serious problems with electricity and water, and largely because of this huge increase in population.
– The health system is totally overburdened, and the security implications of the Syrian crisis to Lebanon are absolutely dramatic.
This is old news to most of us Lebanese by now, and Lebanon is in need of a substantial help to cope with this humanitarian crisis. Aside from that, and instead of requesting to expel Syrian refugees or stop receiving them like some Lebanese officials have been doing for the past couple of years, the government needs to set up an emergency plan once and for all to cope with Syrian refugees in Lebanon and organize them into camps or proper settlements. This should have been done since day1 and even if things are out of control now, it’s never too late to have a plan and put an end to this chaotic situation because the Syrian war is not ending anytime soon.