UN suspends cash aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon as per gov request
As per a request made by the Lebanese government, the UN has decides to halt cash assistance to Syrian refugees in the country until further notice.
The United Nations has halted financial assistance to Syrian refugees in Lebanon after a request was made by the Lebanese government to do so. The announcement was made in a joint statement of the UN Humanitarian Coordinator Imran Riza, an official of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ivo Freijsen, a Director and Representative of the World Food Programme Abdallah Alwardat.
"As a result of meetings held yesterday with the [Lebanese] Caretaker Prime Minister, H.E. Najib Mikati, and Caretaker Minister of Social Affairs, H.E. Hector Hajjar, and based on their requests, a decision has been made to temporarily pause the use of dual currency for next month's disbursement of cash assistance to refugees, while discussions continue on appropriate modalities," the statement said.
According to Lebanese security services, there are around 2 million Syrian refugees currently residing in neighboring Lebanon while the UN Refugee Agency has only registered 840,000 Syrians in its database.
In late April this year the ministerial committee responsible for the affairs of the displaced, headed by caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, convened to discuss the matter of the Syrians currently present in Lebanon.
Al Mayadeen Net covered the meeting and took care to note Hajjar's comments after the session to get the latest updates on the government's position.
Compared to Lebanon's population, at approximately 5.5 million per the United Nations in June 2022, and its small geographical area (10,452 km), and as the country faces deteriorating economic and social conditions, the issue could lead to unforeseen repercussions in the near future according to observers, especially amid the international community and Western countries' failure to deal seriously and quickly with the matter, instead turning it into a ticking time bomb in Lebanon.
Hajjar reaffirmed after the meeting Lebanons' position on resolutions No. 38 dated 10/23/2014 related to the government's policy regarding displaced Syrians, and No. 2 dated 1/7/2020 related to the general policy presented by the Ministry of Social Affairs on the return of displaced.
He added that the Lebanese authorities "will ask the High Commissioner for Displaced Affairs, and within a maximum period of one week from its date, to provide the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities with all the data it possesses regarding displaced Syrians...provided that the status of a displaced person is revoked from Syrians leaving the Lebanese territory and that security services be requested to strictly pursue violators and prevent the entry of Syrians through illegal means."
It is noteworthy that "37,000 Syrians moved back to Syria during the Eid al-Fitr holiday, and then returned to Lebanon after the end of the holidays, which denies them the status of displaced," as revealed by the Lebanese Minister of Labor at the meeting.