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Derbas: Lebanon lost $20 bn due to Syrian crisis

BEIRUT | / NNA - December 21, 2014, 17h04
photo: HCR
Minister of Social Affairs, Rachid Derbas, told Al Liwa Daily, in an interview to be published on Monday, that Lebanon has already lost $20 billion due to the events in Syria.
The Minister explained that the Lebanese government's decision to stop receiving Syrian refugees, except for urgent cases, reduced the number of refugees from a million and two hundred thousand to a million and a hundred thousand. He asserted that the UN approved the measures taken by the state to that effect.

"Lebanon received a mere 50% of international aid allocated for Syrian refugees in 2013, and then got 44% of donations apportioned for the year 2014," he said.

Derbas noted that the United Nations planned to settle approximately 130,000 refugees out of Lebanon. However, he cautioned that this resettlement might encourage Christians of Syria to emigrate, thus depriving the region of its cultural diversity.

Addressing the events in Tripoli over the past months, the Minister asserted in no uncertain terms that the entire northern city stood in solidarity with the state and the LAF. He called upon the Council for Development and Reconstruction to execute developmental projects, in order to cut-off the path for those attempting to take advantage of the city's youth by arming them.
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