Lebanese public services under pressure from Syrian refugees

By on 10/04/2014

An influx of refugees from war-torn Syria is putting unprecedented pressure on Lebanon’s public services.

According to the United Nations, there are officially now one million Syrian refugees in Lebanon. This figure is expected to rise to 1.5 million by the end of 2014, with somewhere in the region of 2,500 people crossing the border every day.

As a result, Lebanese health and education providers are struggling to keep up with the increased demand for their services. Moreover, the financial cost of the swollen population is reported to be some $7.5 billion – putting a further burden on the country’s tax payers.

Reports suggest that the high number of newcomers is exacerbating tensions in Lebanese communities, which already play host to some 400,000 Palestinian refugees. This gives the country the highest number of refugees per capita of any nation in the world.

Lebanon’s foreign minister Adnan Mansour has already expressed concerns about the situation, saying in March that it could threaten his country’s “very existence”.

Mansour’s comments were given further impetus by the international community in April. For example, Ireland’s minister for trade and development Joe Costello said in an official statement: “Despite the great generosity being shown by the people of Lebanon, this continuing influx of desperate and traumatised refugees is stretching public services such as health, education, electricity and water beyond their capacities.”

About Kevin Sorkin

Pendragon International Media publish www.globalgovernmentforum.com, a community of senior government officials around the world. Global Government Forum is an important international network focusing on impartial, government news, analysis and best practice. The content addresses the real issues facing senior leaders in public service policy and administration today and aims to support them in developing public services for the future. Our aim is to help all organisations engage with this important community by improving understanding and strengthening relationships. I am the founder of the Civil Service Awards and Civil Service Live, which are now established industry leading brands and extremely important events for government. I also launched and published Civil Service World, civilserviceworld.com and Civil Service World Research and Information bringing together the civil service community to enable communication, sharing of best practice, inspire and motivate the civil service community. Over the years I have established relationships with the most senior officials in government and the private sector and have built a very strong and positive reputation across the industry.

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