Head of the interim Lebanese government Najib Mikati called on Wednesday for the international community to setup safe havens for displaced Syrians inside their own country in order to lessen the burden that has been placed on the neighbouring countries, especially Lebanon.
During his speech at the second international fundraising conference for Syria in Kuwait, Mikati told attendees that “the daily rate of Syrian refugees entering Lebanon is 3,000” and also pointed out that Syrian refugees now represent about one quarter of the Lebanese population.
“In order to lessen the burden that is being placed on Lebanon and the other neighbouring countries” explained Mikati, “the international community should seriously consider the idea [of creating] safe camps inside Syria.”
However, Mikati also stressed that: “Until the safe return [of the refugees], we call upon you not to let the Lebanese humanitarian programme fail,” warning that “if it fails, it would mean the death of our common humanity because all that is said about humanity would be proven nothing more than empty slogans.”
Lebanon has the largest number of Syrian refugees, hosting about 905,000, followed by Jordan with 575,000, then Turkey with 562,000, Iraq with 216,000 and Egypt with 145,000.