Lebanon to Establish Camps in Border Areas to House Syrian Refugees

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Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas revealed that the Lebanese authorities would begin building camps on Lebanese territories lying near the border with Syria to house Syrian refugees.

The minister told several local dailies published on Thursday that the establishment of the camps is part of a pilot project aimed at studying the feasibility of housing more refugees in the border area.

“The camps have become more than a necessity because the spread of the displaced (Syrians) inside Lebanon is no longer acceptable,” Derbas said.

The minister’s remarks came after a meeting of the ministerial committee tasked with following up the issue of the refugees.

The meeting preceded a scheduled visit by U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres.

It also came on the eve of Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s trip to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly session.

Salam is expected to discuss the burden of the refugees with donor countries during his stay in New York next week.

The number of registered Syrian refugees who have escaped the fighting between troops loyal to President Bashar Assad and rebels has reached 1.3 million in Lebanon.

There are an estimated 300,000 to 400,000 unregistered Syrians.

The United Nations said last week that more than three million Syrians have fled the civil war ravaging their country to become refugees — a million of them in the past year alone.

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