Has Lebanon foresaken Syria? Refugee funding dries up

Published July 10th, 2012 - 01:47 GMT
Marked for protest: One way to identify Syrian refugees
Marked for protest: One way to identify Syrian refugees

The number of Syrian refugees receiving assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has increased to 30,000, while the Higher Relief Committee has stopped offering secondary health care to people in need.

According to a report released Friday by the UNHCR, the Lebanese government’s HRC has stopped non-life-saving health care for refugees due to a lack of funding.

The HRC has faced cash shortages before. Several months ago the government almost failed to deliver funds to the organization in time to cover its monthly expenses for refugees.

The UNHCR and the International Medical Corps are covering the costs of life-saving medical care for registered Syrian refugees, according to the report. Local and non-government affiliated charities are also covering hospitalization costs for refugees at a number of private hospitals across the country.

Of the 30,000 displaced Syrians receiving aid from the UNHCR, 26,905 are officially registered to receive regular services. Islamic and local charities estimate the total number of refugees to be around 60,000 people.

The latest report from the organization also touched on the increasing conflict along the Lebanese-Syrian border and its impact on refugees, reporting that “tensions are high” in the north following heavy clashes there.

Some “800 [Syrian] beneficiaries reside in impacted villages, such as Bqaiaa, Mqaibley, [and] Hisheh. Local leaders have asked for support from the Army, and U.N. security teams are traveling to [the] affected border areas to assess and advise,” the report said.

Protesters marched Friday against the Syrian regime in the streets of the Qibbeh neighborhood of Tripoli after Friday prayers at Hamza Mosque. Several hundred people gathered, chanting slogans against the Syrian regime.


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