Lebanon moves forward on policy addressing Syrian refugees

Published March 16th, 2017 - 06:00 GMT
Syrian refugees living in dire conditions in Lebanon. (AFP/Joseph Eid)
Syrian refugees living in dire conditions in Lebanon. (AFP/Joseph Eid)

A ministerial committee for refugee affairs Wednesday reached an agreement on 80 percent of the government's policy toward Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

"The meeting was fruitful," Minister of State for Refugee Affairs Mouin Merehbi told reporters after the meeting, which was chaired by Prime Minister Saad Hariri at the Grands Serail. 

"We tackled all the relevant issues and I hope that all concerned ministers will have their remarks by Friday," the minister added. 

The Lebanese government estimates that around 1.5 million Syrian refugees live in unofficial camps around the country in deteriorating economic conditions – which Lebanon was already suffering prior to the refugee crisis.

1.03 million Syrian refugees are registered with the UNHCR in Lebanon.

A statement issued by the premier’s press office said Deputy PM and Health Minister Ghassan Hasbani, Education Minister Marwan Hamadeh, Finance Minister Ali Hasan Khalil, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, Minister of State for Planning Michel Pharaon, Social Affairs Minister Pierre Abou Assi, Economy Minister Raed Khoury and Merehbi attended the meeting.

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