Suleiman: Lebanon feeling strain of Syrian refugees

Oct. 18, 2013 at 9:58 AM   |   Comments

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Lebanon isn't getting the help it needs to cope with the number of Syrians streaming across the border to seek shelter from war, the Lebanese president said.

President Michel Suleiman said Friday $74 million in donor support for an estimated 749,000 Syrian refugees in his country wasn't enough.

"The financial contribution [of donor countries] is not enough and the participation in sharing the number of refugees is not enough," he was quoted as saying by The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon.

Suleiman said he might offer a proposal to the international community for a donors' conference to secure additional support.

The United Nations has expressed concern about the "huge burden" placed on Lebanon by the influx of Syrian refugees, the report said.

In September, Suleiman called for a safe zone in Syria to host refugees and ease the burden on his country.

Violence in Lebanon that's tied to Syria's war escalated after Hezbollah acknowledged it was fighting alongside pro-government forces in Syria.

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