Yesterday, the UN Refugee Agency reported that the number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon had passed the one million mark. A visualization of the news:
Keating comments on the sad milestone:
Lebanon already has significant populations of Iraqi and Palestinian refugees, and agencies were warning as far back as 2012 that the country’s capacity to absorb more people from Syria, most of whom fled with little money or means to support themselves, was waning. The country has for some time now had the highest per capita refugee population in the world.
Unlike its neighbors, Lebanon has refused to build refugee camps—the camps built for Palestinians have essentially become permanent settlements—but informal tent communities have sprung up. The influx of Syrians may also alter the country’s delicate sectarian balance—currently roughly evenly divided among Sunnis, Shiites, and Christians.