The Environment Ministry announced Wednesday its decision to resume a study concerning the impact of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, launched in 2014.
A ministry statement said that Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk had met with Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas and U.N. Special Coordinator Philippe Lazzarini to discuss the re-launch of the study.
“We have now prepared a study that will be announced next week assessing the environmental impact of the Syrian exodus,” Machnouk said.
Machnouk praised the Lebanese community for its generosity to the Syrian people, but added that the country “cannot give what it does not have for itself.”
“More than 50 percent of Lebanon’s residents are living in poverty, 50 percent of whom live under the poverty line. This means that [the need for] help is boundless,” Machnouk added.
The Environment Minister launched the study in Sept. 2014, saying that the flow of refugees “has created unprecedented pressure on Lebanon’s infrastructure.”
“Needs are not only limited to the infrastructure...it is also about creating a balance in providing services to Syrian refugees, Lebanese, and Palestinians alike,” Machnouk said.
Since the war in neighboring Syria erupted in 2011, over 1.1 million Syrians have been registered with the U.N. refugee agency in Lebanon, but the number is thought to be much higher. This huge influx of refugees means that Syrians double and triple the number of residents in certain areas.