Saturday, July 22, 2006

IDPs - Lebanon

Internally Displaced People or IDPs are refugees within their own country. Marion just sent me a brief email with figures from the Lebanese police and humanitarian organisations quoted in the Lebanese papers this morning. They gives a sense of scale to the problem:

"latest statistics, number of refugees in the public places only (and I mean by that gardens, schools, convents etc...) have reached 974436 refugees spread as follows: 39421 in Beirut, 40768 in Mount Lebanon, 1659 in the North and 2968 in the Bekaa."

Additionally, we should consider the numbers of IDPs not included in these figures because they are staying with friends or family elsewhere in Lebanon. Then there are the large numbers who left the country in the first days of the war - many going to Syria. Finally, amongst the well publicised tens of thousands of "foreigners" who have left the country with the assistance of their governments - many are dual nationality; Lebanese-Canadians or Lebanese-British etc. Lebanon's population is not that large, a bit less than 4 million, so these figure represent a significant proportion of the population.

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