Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour said additional public schools will open to house the thousands of Syrian refugees streaming into Lebanon for fear of a massacre in Damascus, in remarks published Friday.
An-Nahar quoted Abu Faour as saying that Head of the Progressive Socialist Party Walid Jumblatt and Minister Alaaeddine Terro tasked him with asking “Education Minister Hasan Diab to help the refugees and open [more] public schools to house them.”
He added that he will meet Diab Friday to determine which schools meet the requirements.
Abu Faour added that Jumblatt also entrusted him with the task of resolving the issue with the country’s High Relief Committee. The organization recently announced it has stopped providing aid to Syrian refugees due to a lack of funds.
The HRC stopped covering the costs of secondary health care and placed strict limitations on other types of aid distribution, such as food.
In remarks published Friday, Abu Faour said that the HRC doesn't have the capability to provide aid to the refugees. He said aid is being secured by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Danish Council for Refugees, World Food Program, International Committee of the Red Cross, Lebanese Red Cross and the Social Affairs Ministry.
“Most people have come on foot or through the mountains from Damascus toward Lebanon amid fears that a great massacre [will take place] in the Syrian capital,” the minister said.
According to the latest weekly report released by the UNHCR, there are now 30,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, of whom 26,905 are registered to receive regular services from the UNHCR and other agencies.