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Lebanese minister rejects to pay cash assistance in USD for Syrian refugees

Lebanese caretaker Social Affairs Minister Hector Hajjar refused UNHCR’S demand to give cash assistance in USD for Syrian refugees.

Hajjar held a press conference on Friday clarifying that 230000 Syrian families received cash assistance in Lebanese Lira every month.

Hajjar pointed out that the Social Affairs Ministry holds every month meetings including UNHCR and the UN due to exacerbating the crisis and currency devaluation in Lebanon.

Hajjar stated that the ministry received in March 2023 a request to pay cash aid in USD on the grounds of the difficulty to provide large quantities of Lebanese Liras, which included giving $40 to a family of displaced Syrians and $20 per family member up to 5 people.

The Lebanese minister said that “We rejected pay cash aid in USD for the displaced Syrians, because the amount is much higher than what a first-level public sector worker receives, and we also rejected because the Lebanese public opinion rejects the Syrian displacement in Lebanon, and it will also increase tension between the displaced Syrians and the Lebanese.”

The differences between the Lebanese government and the UNHCR have already escalated over the past months, with the government accusing the UNHCR of encouraging refugees to stay in Lebanon, according to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon passes 1.5 million, according to the Lebanese security services.

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