Syrian refugees to leave Lebanon and return to safe zones in Syria
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Lebanon has a population of 4.5 million Lebanese people, 2 million Syrian refugees and half a million Palestinian refugees.
It is a small country that, due to a 15 year war and the huge debt that accumulated after that for reconstruction, was already suffering economically before the March 2011 Syrian war and the spillover from the Syrian conflict including the influx of Syrian refugees that increased internal tension and slowed economic growth to the 1-2% range in 2011-15, and less than that in 2016, after four years of averaging 8% growth. Syrian refugees have pushed more and more Lebanese into unemployment.
Yet we remain to this day the largest host (on a per capita basis) for displaced Syrians.
Lebanese are known for their hospitality, however in this instance we regrettably announce that it is not within our capacity to have refugees in Lebanon, how can we invite a beloved guest to our house when we don't even have enough to feed our own children?!
Besides the economical challenge, we are suffering demographic and social challenges that we worry might lead to serious altercations between both parties.
Based on the facts of the country, with respect to the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, Lebanon is neither a State Party nor has it signed its protocol.
We ask you, the international community, our big family, please help us survive in our land, we need your assistance in relocating the displaced Syrians we have in Lebanon to safe zones in Syria designated and agreed upon by yourselves. We as the Lebanese people are willing to work hand in hand with the Lebanese government and international organizations in Lebanon, who have the data relating to the Syrian refugees, to relocate them in an organized, civilized manner. We hope for the best, God bless all the countries and we will continue to pray for world peace
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