The head of the Delegation of the European Union to Lebanon, Ambassador Christina Lassen, has said that Syrian refugees will not return to their country quickly even if there were peace.
“What we eventually want is a solution to the crisis. They have to return home,” Lassen told As Safir daily published on Friday.
“But even if there were peace (in Syria) tomorrow, they won’t be going immediately,” she said.
“The international community had to make sure that they are living in good conditions and are not left in bad conditions,” the diplomat added.
An international donor conference in London has received pledges totaling of around $10 billion by 2020 to help fund schools, shelter and jobs for refugees from Syria's civil war, money that British Prime Minister David Cameron said "will save lives, will give hope, will give people the chance of a future."
The one-day meeting, held under tight security at a conference center near Parliament, aspired to bring new urgency to the effort to help the 4.6 million Syrians who have sought refuge in neighboring countries including Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. Another 6 million people or more are displaced within Syria, and a quarter of a million have been killed.
The Lebanese government has proposed some programs that would help the Syrian refugees work in certain sectors, such as agriculture and construction.
But the issue has left some people jittery over fears that the displaced Syrians will remain in Lebanon similar to the Palestinian refugees.
“I understand the feeling of the Lebanese people given their long experience with displacement. Unfortunately, the situation of the Palestinians is very difficult because it’s not clear where they can go,” said Lassen.
“But the Syrians have their homeland,” she added.