Lebanon resumes registration service for Syrian refugees willing to return home


Beirut: Lebanon’s General Security Directorate has resumed its registration service for Syrian refugees willing to return to their homeland.

The directorate resumed the operation of a registration centre in Arsal, a town in northern Bekaa Region, after suspending its operations on October 6 of last year due to logistical reasons, Xinhua news agency reported.

Around 50 Syrian families who wish to return to their villages in Western Qalamoun mountains and Al Qusayr registered their names on Wednesday, it added.

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The Directorate said it would continue to provide the service at the centre three days a week.

Lebanese authorities have repeatedly called on the international community to assist the country in returning Syrian refugees to their homeland as it suffers from a dire financial crisis and can no longer host many displaced people on its territories.

According to the UN Refugee Agency, Lebanon is currently facing its worst socioeconomic crisis in decades and hosts the highest number of refugees per capita and per square kilometre worldwide.

The government estimates 1.5 million Syrian refugees and 13,715 refugees of other nationalities.

Ninety per cent of Syrian refugees are living in extreme poverty, with the majority of them settled in the Bekaa region.

While prices are skyrocketing due to a severe economic crisis, almost half of the Lebanese and 2/3 of the 1.5 million Syrian refugees are food insecure.

Some 90 per cent of Syrians, 73 per cent of Palestinian refugees, and over 50 per cent of Lebanese households currently need assistance.

Lebanon has struggled to deal with emergencies like the Beirut port blast, Covid-19, and a cholera outbreak earlier this year.

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( With inputs from )

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