TEHRAN (Press Shia) – An economic summit held Sunday in Beirut urged international donors and Arab funds to “alleviate the plight of refugees and displaced people through funding the implementation of developmental projects in Arab countries hosting them.”
“This would support national development plans and contribute to limiting the economic and social repercussions resulting from this temporary hosting,” the closing statement of the Arab Economic and Social Development Summit said, Nahar Net reported on Monday.
“We call for drawing further Arab and international investments to the hosting nations,” the statement, which was recited by caretaker Lebanese Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, added.
Bassil later described the summit’s statement as a “victory” for Lebanon.
As for Palestinian refugees, the conferees said they “reject any resolution aimed at ending or curbing the role of UNRWA,” or the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, calling for securing the necessary funds that allow it to maintain its work.
Delivering closing remarks at the summit, Lebanese President Michel Aoun vowed that his country would follow up on the implementation of the summit’s resolutions in order to “provide more prosperous social and economic conditions for our peoples.”
“Prosperity is one of the factors contributing to peace,” he said.
There are currently 5.6 million Syrian refugees living in the region, including around one million born into displacement, according to the UN refugee agency UNHCR.
Lebanon hosts some 1.5 million Syrians who have fled the civil war raging across the border.
Most live in extreme poverty, according to aid agencies, and have placed an extra burden on Lebanon's fragile economy.