Thursday, August 29, 2013

Supporting Affected Lebanese Families and Reducing Emerging Tensions between Syrians and the Hosting Community

On August 24, LOST organized a meeting with representatives of more than 50 CSOs and activists at its headquarters in Baalbeck to discuss the role of civil society in reducing the negative impacts of the Syrian crisis on the hosting Lebanese community.

It was agreed that the Lebanese community is facing two crises related to the Syrian dilemma; the Syrian political crisis itself, and the Syrian refugees’ crisis. Where the first had its tremendous impact on stability and internal Lebanese political cohesion, the second is starting to have some negative economic impact on the hosting Lebanese community; the lack of order and security, and the increasing competition of Syrian cheap labor force had created bad economic conditions on the livelihood of the Lebanese community.

The participants reiterated that the continuous support of Syrian Refugees by the Lebanese Government and the International agencies and NGOs is highly considered, needed, and appreciated, but further serious steps need to be done toward the poor Lebanese community in respect to emerging and increasing demands, needs and socio-economic and political problems.

All attendees agreed on the following agenda that will lead to further action in the future:

-    Calling on International Agencies and NGOs to support more affected Lebanese families
-    Supporting programs that can reduce emerging and serious tensions between Lebanese and Syrians communities in Lebanon
-    Supporting peace-building programs among the Lebanese to reduce negative impacts of the Syrian political crisis
-    Empowering local CSOs and engaging them in international initiatives to become active partners in supporting Syrian refugees and affected Lebanese families.

A press conference will be held the first week of September to announce further steps to the Lebanese community. Concomitantly, several meetings will be organized to prepare for a wide campaign to kindly call all international agencies to support Lebanese families without affecting the humanitarian support of the Syrian refugees in the region.

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