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June 29, 2020 | English | Dima Mahdi
Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region: The Lebanese Government’s Redundant Commitments and Slow Progress

Lebanon has hosted Syrian refugees since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, leading the country to have the highest refugee per capita rate in the world. The international community has recognized this effort and has been providing unconditional humanitarian assistance to Lebanon and other neighboring host countries by holding annual donor pledging conferences since 2013. At the same time, the Lebanese government has made a number of policy commitments to tackle the refugee response since 2016, which have been reiterated year after year, to a point that it did not present any new pledges during the last Brussels conference in 2019. Monitoring the government’s progress, it has become apparent that Lebanon has failed to fulfill its promises: Out of the twenty-two commitments made to the international community, the government has met only one. Commitments such as pledges linked to CEDRE, developing action plans, ensuring the application of residency fee waiver, and respecting the principle of non-refoulement were either not implemented or violated. In addition, twelve commitments were unclear and either refer to overarching objectives or require more information to identify clear action and measure progress. This policy brief concludes that in light of the existing international humanitarian assistance due to the presence of Syrian refugees, the Lebanese government should make most use of the available assistance and ensure a sustainable impact on the public sector and service delivery by respecting the commitments it made throughout the years. 

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