Syrian Envoy to Lebanon Asks UN for Aid To Encourage Refugees’ Return
Syria’s Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali said on Sunday that UN organizations should provide financial support to Syria to encourage Syrian refugees in Lebanon to return home. “We have called on UN organizations several times to offer their financial support for Syrians inside their home country, instead of in Lebanon, to encourage their return to Syria,” the ambassador told the TV channel Aljadeed News. Syria is offering Syrians living abroad incentives, such as exemptions from military service and other legal obligations, to encourage their return, he added. Lebanon hosts the world’s largest number of refugees per capita. Around 5.3 million Lebanese nationals live alongside an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees, 500,000 Palestinian refugees, and others. Lebanon has since late 2019 been buckling under one of the world’s worst financial crises in 150 years, which has left skyrocketing unemployment, inflation, fuel shortages, and currency devaluation in its wake, and its government says the influx of refugees has taken a heavy toll on the country’s economy and infrastructure.