Can safe zones work for Lebanon’s refugees?
Lebanese officials are always calling the crisis du jour “existential,” yet Lebanon manages to endure. But the Syrian refugee crisis just might be existential. Lebanon’s interior minister said recently that Syrian nationals now constitute 29 percent-30 percent of Lebanon’s population. Imagine the refugee influx if Damascus and Homs implode! Since 17 years is the global average of displacement, Lebanon is rightly concerned about the refugees and the continuing burden on infrastructure, potential militarization and threat to the sectarian balance.