Lebanon, Jordan bear the brunt of the refugee crisis: UNHCR

Published May 24th, 2015 - 01:45 GMT

Much more solidarity with refugee-hosting countries like Jordan is needed from the international community as they are facing enormous economic and social challenges, UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said on Saturday.

On the sideline of the World Economic Forum meeting on the Middle East and North Africa, Guterres said these countries have to be supported.

“Pressure must be imposed on the international community to express to Lebanon and Jordan the effective mechanism of solidarity that could help these countries face the enormous challenges... These countries are the first line of defence of collective security,” he told The Jordan Times, calling for stronger humanitarian support for displaced Syrians and Iraqis.

“We have more than 4 million registered refugees from Syria in the neighbouring countries; we have almost 15 million displaced in the Syria and Iraq context,” he added.

“If you look at children, 600,000 Syrian refugees are out of school; this is enormous and it is a threat for Syria and the region.”

Guterres stressed that Jordan and Lebanon cannot be left alone to carry the burden.

“We have to ask the international community to express their solidarity with these countries that are on the first line of impact of this dramatic situation.”

A total of 627,287 Syrian refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Jordan, while around 1.183 million have taken refuge in Lebanon, according to the UN agency’s website.

By Muath Freij


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