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ICRC Chief Says 80% of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Want to Return Home

ICRC Chief Says 80% of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon Want to Return Home

Tuesday, 9 January, 2018 - 13:00
Syrian refugee children wait to enter their classroom at a non-formal school in the town of Saadnayel, in the Bekaa valley, Lebanon. (AP)

Head of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Lebanon Christophe Martin said Monday that the majority of Syrian refugees in Lebanon want to return home.

According to a statement by the presidential media office, Martin made the remarks during his meeting with Lebanese President Michel Aoun over the standards of ICRC to ensure the refugees' safe and dignified return.

Martin pointed that the ICRC's vision for how it would support refugees in their eventual return to Syria would be discussed with senior Lebanese officials, as well as relevant international bodies and nations.

He told the president that 80 percent of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon want to go back to Syria once the security situation there improves.

The United Nations Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) announced last month that the number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon had dropped to below 1 million for the first time since 2014.

The UN agency said that the number of Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon as of the end of November 2017 was 997,905.

The Red Cross will distribute its roadmap on the return of refugees to senior officials in Lebanon and a number of major countries concerned with the situation of displaced Syrians, including the criteria set by the Commission to secure a dignified return of the displaced, Martin said.

In the same context, Environment Minister Tariq Khatib described the Syrian displacement as a “time-bomb that can detonate at any place or time”.

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