UN: Syria refugee crisis threatens development
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UN: Syria refugee crisis threatens development

Asylum seekers expected to make up 25% of Lebanon's population, and 10% of Jordan's, at end of year

A Syrian boy carries a water jug to his family's tent at the Zaatari Refugee Camp, in Mafraq, Jordan (photo credit: AP/Mohammad Hannon/File)
A Syrian boy carries a water jug to his family's tent at the Zaatari Refugee Camp, in Mafraq, Jordan (photo credit: AP/Mohammad Hannon/File)

The head of the United Nations development agency is warning that Syria’s refugee crisis is threatening economic development throughout the region because host countries cannot cope with the influx.

Helen Clark told a meeting Monday in Geneva, Switzerland, that the situation not only poses a humanitarian crisis but also threatens economies of neighboring countries including Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey due to its impact on trade, agriculture, tourism, employment and demands on water use.

She said that by the end of the year, nearly 25 percent of Lebanon’s population will be made up of refugees. The figure has already reached 10 percent in Jordan. Clark added that “clearly the costs on host communities and countries cannot be borne by them alone.”

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press

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