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Lebanon’s help for Syrian refugees is inspirational, but it needs our help

Jim Yong Kim's picture

Jim Yong Kim visits classrooms filled with Syrian refugee students in Beirut, Lebanon. © Dominic Chavez/World Bank

The Lebanese are generous people – that was clear to me when I visited an elementary school in Beirut attended by many Syrian children who fled their war-torn nation with their parents. The children greeted me warmly and told me that Lebanon was very similar to Syria, but that they really missed their homes. It’s inspiring to see how the Lebanese have opened up their doors, their schools, their health clinics, and their communities for more than 1 million Syrian refugees.

Few developing countries could do what Lebanon has done; if America had done the same, it would be the equivalent of all of Mexico moving into the United States over two or three years. It has put an enormous strain on Lebanon’s infrastructure, schools, water supplies, and even trash collection. Lebanon needs help right now from the international community as Syrians—and the world—wait for peace to return to their country.

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