"Don't push" Lebanon's resilience to tipping-point

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A young Syrian girl sits on a broken chair by her tent in Faida 3 camp, an informal tented settlement for Syria refugees in Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. Photo: UNICEF/Alessio Romenzi

The international community has been urged by a senior UN official not to push what's been described as Lebanon's legendary resilience to a tipping-point.

A massive refugee influx from neighbouring Syria, coupled with regional uncertainties and domestic political polarization, have taken a heavy toll on Lebanon's economy according to the UN Resident and Humanitarian coordinator, Phillipe Lazzarini.

Janie Cangelosi has more details.

Lebanon has borne the brunt of the Syria refugee crisis. The small Mediterranean country of around five million people has taken in just over one million refugees who have fled its war-torn neighbour.

As the conflict has intensified all segments of the economy have struggled.

Major trading routes and regional markets have collapsed.

Phillipe Lazzarini has said Lebabon's resilience is legendary, but he added it should not be tested too far.

"Like any resilience it erodes and I think it is in none of our interests to find out where the tipping point of this resilience would be."

Mr Lazzarini added that the Lebanese people had gained invaluable experience rebuilding their own war-torn nation, something that could be a major asset in helping the future reconstruction of Syria.

Janie Cangelosi, United Nations

Duration: 48″

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