Lebanon blocks Syrian refugees from entering: United Nations

Syrian refugees rest while cooking a meal at an informal settlement in Zahle in the Bekaa valley October 16, 2014. Credit: Reuters/ Mohamed Azakir

(Reuters) – The Lebanese government has cut back sharply on the number of Syrian refugees it is allowing into the country, the United Nations representative in Lebanon said on Saturday.

Lebanon has the highest per capita concentration of refugees in the world, with one in four residents a refugee, many of them living in the poorest areas.

The government has said it cannot cope with the more than a million Syrians and has asked for funds to help look after them.

Ninette Kelley, representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Lebanon, said: “Many fewer people are being allowed in than would normally be coming in to get refugee status.”

Following a constant increase in refugees to Lebanon since the start of 2012, United Nations figures show a decrease of around 40,000 refugees since the end of September…