UNHCR says ready for possible exodus from Homs to Lebanon

Photo: UNHCR says ready for possible exodus from Homs to Lebanon / Arab World

The UN Higher Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Lebanon said Thursday that it has prepared an emergency plan in case civilians from neighborhoods in the western Syrian city of Homs fled to Lebanon in the near future Anadolu Agency reported.

"An emergency plan is ready in this regard," UNHCR Public Information Officer Dana Sleiman told Anadolu Agency.

"The plan is updated every now and then to cope up with any emergency on the ground," she added.

Governor of Homs Talal Barazi told the state SANA news agency on Thursday that the United Nations and Syria have reached a deal to allow civilians to leave Homs' old city, which have been under siege by government forces for over 18 months now.

He added that the deal will allow civilians to get out of the old city "very soon".

Sleiman, however, said UNHCR has not received any updates about the deal yet.

"But, we will apply the emergency plan in case Syrian civilians arrived in Lebanon," she said, noting that her organization is aware of the "limited resources" of the Lebanese state.

Sleiman said the plan specifies the responsibilities of each side as far as foodstuffs and other basic needs, including covers, are concerned.

Around 909,000 Syrian refugees are registered in the UNHCR in Lebanon.

Lebanese authorities, however, say there are more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees on Lebanese territory.

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