Aoun: Lebanon Incapable of Bearing Refugees Burden Any Longer
President Michel Aoun on Tuesday said that Lebanon was no longer capable of handling the growing burden of Syrian refugees on Lebanese territories, the National News Agency reported.
“We are working on the return of the displaced because Lebanon is no longer capable of carrying this massive burden,” said Aoun.
However he stressed that the “spread of hatred and incitement is totally unacceptable, especially that the consequences could be dire for both (Lebanese and Syrian) peoples.”
Aoun’s remarks came before the Mayor of Haret Hreik, Ziad Waked and members of the municipal council and mukhtars who visited him at the Baabda Palace.
Lebanon hosts more than 1.5 million Syrian refugees, who amount to more than a quarter of the country’s population not to mention undocumented individuals, many of whom live in informal tented settlements.
The Syria refugee influx into Lebanon has strained the country’s infrastructure, and has also sparked accusations that refugee camps are harboring militants.
The World Bank says the Syrian crisis has pushed an estimated 200,000 Lebanese into poverty, adding to the nation’s one million poor.