UNHCR and UNDP update media on refugees’ situation in LebanonAug 2, 2013
The U.N High Commissioner for Refugees and the United Nations Development Program held a press meeting on Friday July 26th at the UNHCR Office in Beirut to present the media with a brief on their work, partnerships and funding channels to support the refugees in the country.
Ms. Ninette Kelley, UNHCR Country Representative and Mr. Luca Renda, UNDP Country Director were present at the meeting.
Ms. Kelley discussed the issue of resettlements and stricter border security measures between Lebanon and Syria, “We have always preferred non-camp settlements because more help is recognized in these cases. But we do not see it feasible for refugees to return to so-called Safe Zones in Syria at the moment.” On the social level, she added, “The Lebanese people have become weary and the whole situation has affected the economy of the country, but the government has been cooperative and has supported all channels to carry out new projects.”
On the other hand, Mr. Renda gave an overview of the services provided by UNDP, “We have partnered with different governmental and non-governmental agencies to create host community projects and put together a strategy which provides assistance to the increasing needs of the refugees and to help Lebanon cope with those needs.” He added, “Our concern is that these interventions are just scratching the surface by helping to provide the most pressing needs.”
At the end of the meeting, the floor was open for any questions or inquiries by the media. The main questions revolved around the resettlement of the refugees and the challenges that are facing NGOs in providing means in assisting the refugees and local community.