The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) will open an office on the Lebanese-Syrian border to control the movement of refugees, said the Lebanese Council of Ministers on Tuesday.
The decision, announced on the sidelines of the Global Refugee Forum 2023 held on Dec. 13-15 at the UN headquarters in Geneva, was reached between UNHCR chief Filippo Grandi and Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, the council said in a statement.
During a meeting with Mikati, Grandi noted that the refugee problem constitutes a challenge for the UNHCR due to the shortage of funding, adding he believed that the best solution is to support the displaced in their homeland, which will take some time.
For his part, Mikati called on the UNHCR to focus its support for refugees on incentive projects in their home country in a bid to encourage their return.
Mikati noted that Lebanon has received the data related to the displaced from the UNHCR, and is clarifying the status of each case, adding that his country cannot continue to host this large number of refugees.
Lebanon, which currently hosts around 2 million Syrian refugees, remains the country hosting the largest number of refugees per capita, according to the government data. It has become an unbearable burden for the country that’s suffering an unprecedented financial crisis. ■