Exodus to Lebanon

When the media mentions the Syrian civil war, the effects on neighboring countries, such as Lebanon, are often overlooked. But, do Fox or MSNBC realize that Lebanon has over 1 million displaced people in refugee camps around the country, meaning that they have the most refugees in the world? Do they know the number is growing each day? It seems like the Syrian conflict has all but fallen off of the face of the Earth, but unfortunately the conflict has not.

According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are currently 1,040,322 Syrian refugees in Lebanon. There have been so many people relocating into Lebanon that there aren’t enough supplies for each refugee to live in the refugee camps. In fact, there are so many refugees and so little supplies that the UNHCR only have the resources to cover 17 percent of them.

The conditions of the camps are so bad that it’s below the poverty line. “Yesterday, I sold one of our blankets to buy diapers …I just want to provide for my family. It doesn’t matter what country we live in, we just want to live in dignity,” Mohammed Oneissi, Burj El Shemali camp, Lebanon (American Near East Refugee Aid) explained to ANERA representatives.

Even though there are many problems with the living situation of the refugees, the influx has strained relationships between the Syrians and Lebanese. The majority of Lebanese citizens and Bashar al-Assad supporters are Shiite Muslims while many of the Syrian rebels are Sunni Muslims. Because of this there have been political as well as religious conflicts.

“External actors transferred their conflicts there [in Tripoli], backing local fighters in a struggle that was less costly, and more easily managed, than would be open warfare in the capital…, just as… local fighters use their struggles… to attract important outside support,” the 2010 Crisis Group briefing reported when referencing how the Syrian Conflict has been brought to Tripoli in Lebanon (Irinnews).
Even though the Syrian civil war is still plaguing the area, Lebanon is being the most affected by it from how many refugees they have. Each day more people from Syria flee into Lebanon while the supplies dwindle.