Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri called on the international community on Thursday to help his country handle the Syrian refugee crisis.
His speech came at the launching ceremony of the Lebanon Crisis Response Plan, in the presence of Sigrid Kaag, the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon, and Philippe Lazzarini, the United Nations Coordinator for humanitarian issues.
“Lebanon Crisis Response Plan 2017-2020 is a joint, multi-year plan between the Government of Lebanon and its international and national partners that aims at responding to the challenges associated with one of the most severe and protracted crisis Lebanon has witnessed,” Hariri said.
“The strain on our real economy due to the conflict in Syria has been both immense and unprecedented,” he added.
The prime minister also pointed out the pressure the Syrian refugee crisis has exerted on the Lebanese government.
“Demand exceeded the capacity of institutions and infrastructure to meet the needs of both displaced Syrians and Lebanese citizens,” he said.
Hariri appealed to the international community for more investment in Lebanon’s economic development.
“In the coming three years, Lebanon needs no less than eight to 10 billion U.S. dollars’ worth of new investments in infrastructure, to upgrade the infrastructure,” the prime minister said.
“The dangers of failing to do so will not only be felt by us, but by the world at large,” he concluded.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, more than 1.1 million Syrian refugees have fled to Lebanon, while the Lebanese government puts the figure at 1.5 million. Enditem