Syrian refugees in Lebanon demand action at New York summit

By REUTERS
September 18, 2016 14:26

 
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Syrian refugees living in a camp in the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon say they want to go home immediately.

That is their message to world leaders who are preparing to meet in New York this week for the UN summit that will discuss their fate and that of 65 million others.

The 193-member UN General Assembly will meet on Monday to adopt a political declaration on migrants and refugees but it is not legally binding and does not include a call by Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General, for 10 percent of refugees to be resettled annually and has been dismissed by human rights groups as insufficient.

Lebanon has the highest concentration of refugees, relative to its own population, with nearly one refugee for every five citizens.

In 2015, according to the United Nations, of the total of 65.3 million forcibly displaced people around the globe, 21.3 million were refugees, 40.8 million internally displaced and 3.2 million asylum seekers.

More than half of refugees come from just three countries: Syria (4.9 mln), Afghanistan (2.7 mln) and Somalia (1.1 mln).

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