Lebanon Gears up for Larger Influx of Syrian Refugees


The Lebanese government is holding large-scale consultations with several countries to help Lebanon face the expected rise in the number of Syrian refugees who are escaping fierce fighting between rebels and government forces, An Nahar daily (Lebanese Newspaper) said Saturday.

The newspaper reported expectations the number of refugees in Lebanon to double after severe fighting in the south of Damascus, where rebel fighters clashed with pro-regime Palestinian forces in Hajar al-Aswad district and in the nearby Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk.

As many as 11,000 people fled Syria in 24 hours, some of them desperately clambering through a razor-wire fence into Turkey on Friday.

The exodus is a sign of the escalating ferocity of the violence, which has killed more than 36,000 people since March 2011.

The flood of Syrians into neighboring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon was “the highest that we have had in quite some time,” said Panos Moumtzis, the U.N. refugee agency’s regional coordinator for the region.

About 2,000 to 3,000 people are fleeing Syria daily, and the recent surge brings the number registered with the agency to more than 408,000, he said.

During the 24-hour period that began Thursday, 9,000 Syrians crossed into Turkey, U.N. officials said. Jordan and Lebanon each absorbed another 1,000 refugees.

According to An Nahar, the Lebanese Social Affairs Ministry expected a rise in the number of registered refugees from 150,000 to 200,000, including Palestinians from Yarmouk camp.

Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour said Lebanon could be the next destination for the refugees given the severe fighting in Damascus and Yarmouk.

Meanwhile, Middle East 4 Christ along with our local churches in Lebanon are getting ready to help provide reliefs to this large flux of Syrian refugees and to bring them the Gospel!

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