|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
LIBE MEPs in Lebanon: funding alone not enough, better resettlement tools needed
With around 1,5 million refugees fleeing to Lebanon since the beginning of the war in Syria, it is clear that the situation in the country is untenable and that substantial help is needed to avoid a complete breakdown, not only in terms of financial assistance, but also through improved resettlement tools, says Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes who this week heads a delegation to Beirut.
Lebanon is currently the country in the world with the highest number of refugees per capita, around one in four living on its territory is a refugee. Against this backdrop, a 7 MEP strong delegation from the Civil Liberties Committee this week visited Lebanon to look into the situation for refugees on the ground.
"It is clear that Lebanon is reaching a saturation point", says Claude Moraes (S&D, UK). Vital infrastructure all over the country such as education and sanitation is heavily affected by the influx of the refugees which means that this is not just a refugee crisis, but a crisis that affects the country overall and which could rapidly aggravate. Lebanon has by far surpassed the efforts of the rest of the EU in its response to the crisis and has coped remarkably well under very difficult circumstances. Humanitarian aid from the EU and others is highly needed to alleviate the unprecedented pressure the country is experiencing".
"The poverty among the Syrian refugees is alarming and efficient policies on education and health care are more needed than ever", the chair says on the experience of the delegation. "People are living under appalling conditions, in overcrowded apartments shared by several families in order to afford the rent or even in basement parkings, with no water, toilet or electricity. The issue of a 200$ fee on residents permits has been mentioned as a reason for many to be staying illegally in the country which might make them vulnerable to exploitation in the labour market and elsewhere".
"Conditions are also difficult for the Palestinians who experience restrictions on access to employment which makes them dependent on services from UN's agency for Palestinian Refugees, UNRWA ", he continues.
"The situation cannot be solved by humanitarian aid alone, it calls for political solutions to put an end to the ongoing conflict and consequently take some of the pressure of the country. However, we do not consider returning the Syrians to safe zones within Syria safe at this point, and we are very concerned that lives could be lost if it were to happen", the Chair explains.
"We need member states to urgently uphold their humanitarian responsibilities and we need to ensure a better, more even distribution among the EU countries. In the coming months, the Civil Liberties Committee will take on the task of ensuring a better functioning resettlement system to coordinate and step up efforts of the EU in this field. There is an urgent need for the EU to adopt legislative tools that actually work and can contribute to alleviate the demographic pressure on countries such as Lebanon and prevent further destabilisation in the region", Claude Moraes ends.
The 7 members of the Civil Liberties Committee visited Lebanon from 19-22 September to look into the situation for refugees on the ground, both for the estimated 1,5 mill Syrians that have arrived to Lebanon since the beginning of the war in Syria, as well as the around 300.000-400.000 Palestinians that have been in the country for decades. The findings of the mission will feed into the ongoing work of the committee, in particular on a new EU resettlement framework (legislative proposal presented by the European Commission on 13. July), on relocation as well as the overall overhaul of EU asylum policies, including the Dublin rules.
Latest News from
Aviation Safety: EC removes all Kazakh airlines from EU Air Safety List09/12/2016 16:25:00
The EC has ion updated the EU Air Safety List, the list of airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union. All air carriers from Kazakhstan were removed from the list, while Iran Aseman Airlines was added.
EASO Guidance on reception conditions: operational standards & indicators09/12/2016 15:25:00
EASO has issued the Guidance on reception conditions: operational standards and indicators. This Guidance represents one of the key measures identified by the European Agenda on Migration for the field of reception.
Capital Markets Union: EC welcomes agreement to give companies easier access to capital markets09/12/2016 14:25:00
The EU has agreed on a new set of rules that support companies raising money on capital markets to invest and grow. It will also help investors to make better and more informed decisions.
EC welcomes agreement to ensure compliance of Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of energy with EU law09/12/2016 14:10:00
Negotiators of the European Parliament and the Council have agreed on having Intergovernmental Agreements in the field of gas & oil assessed by the EC before they are signed.
Car emissions: EC opens infringement procedures against 7 Member States for breach of EU rules09/12/2016 13:25:00
The EC is taking action against 7 Member States for failing to set up penalties systems to deter car manufacturers from violating car emissions legislation, or not applying such sanctions where a breach of law has occurred (including the UK).