The displacement of Syrians has cost Lebanon more than 40 billion U.S. dollars since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, Lebanese Foreign Minister Abdallah Bou Habib said on Monday.
The minister made the remarks during his meeting with UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wronecka in Beirut, the country’s National News Agency reported.
“Lebanon’s hosting of a big number of Syrian refugees is beyond the country’s capacity,” Bou Habib said.
The foreign minister also called on the international community to recognize and appreciate Lebanon’s contribution to the world by taking in millions of Syrian refugees.
The UN Refugee Agency reported that Lebanon hosts the largest number of refugees per capita and per square kilometer in the world, with the Lebanese government estimating around 2 million Syrian refugees living in the country.
As Lebanon is facing its worst socio-economic crisis in decades, vulnerable populations such as refugees are suffering from high inflation and shortages of food and basic services. ■