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SourceYueyangNewsNetwork    Updated2020-02-22 12:18:20


  More than 1 million people fleeing Syria's war have registered as refugees in Lebanon, the UN said Thursday, with many now living in misery in a tiny country overstretched by the crisis.

  And the number is swelling by the day. At a crowded UNHCR center in Tripoli, Lebanon's second city, hundreds of Syrian refugees were seen on Thursday queuing to register.

  The UN refugee agency says that every day it registers 2,500 new refugees in Lebanon - more than one person a minute.

  Yehia, an 18-year-old from Homs in Syria, was identified by the UNHCR as the millionth refugee to be registered in the country.

  His father, a carpenter, was killed by a sniper in 2011, six months after the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad broke out.

  "It is a disaster," said Yehia. "My mother sold all her gold so we could pay the 0 monthly rent. We don't know what will happen to us in the future."

  His main wish, he said, was to go back to school to finish his studies, which were interrupted by the war.

  "The fact that there were 1 million Syrians before me who are going hungry, even dying here is very painful," Yehia said sorrowfully.

  According to the UNHCR, refugees from Syria, half of them children, now equal a quarter of Lebanon's resident population, warning that most of them live in poverty and depend on aid for survival.

  UNHCR representative in Lebanon Ninette Kelly branded the one million figure as "a devastating marker."

  "The extent of the human tragedy is not just the resuscitation of numbers, but each one of these numbers represents a human life who, like us, have lives of their own, but who've lost their homes, they've lost their family members, have lost their future," she told reporters.

  Kelly said Lebanon has become the country with the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide.

  Lebanon "is literally staggering under the weight of this problem. Its social services are stressed, health, education, its very fragile infrastructure is also buckling under the pressure."

  The massive refugee crisis is compounded by a spillover across the border of the violence that has ravaged Syria for the past three years, with Lebanon experiencing frequent bombings and clashes even as it grapples with political deadlock and an economic downturn.



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