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Swollen With Syrian Refugees, Lebanon Feels Its Stitching Fray

Date Published: 
02/25/2013
Summary: 

Quietly but inexorably, a human tide has crept into Lebanon, Syria’s smallest and most vulnerable neighbor. (..) The United Nations counts more than 305,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, but local officials and aid workers say the actual number is about 400,000, saturating this country of four million. The Lebanese government — by design — has largely left them to fend for themselves. Deeply divided over Syria, haunted by memories of an explosive refugee crisis a generation ago, it has mostly ignored the problem, dumping it on overwhelmed communities like Qaa. (..) Lebanon’s refugee crisis does not match the familiar image of vast, centralized tent camps and armies of foreign aid organizations. It is nowhere, and everywhere.