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Looming despair among Lebanon’s refugees

Large numbers of Syrian and Palestinian refugees in Lebanon remain in very vulnerable condition.

BEIRUT — As Lebanon struggles to cope with the aftermath of the deadly Aug. 4 port explosion and a long-crippled economy, hundreds of thousands of people are sinking deeper than ever before. And with no signs of an international bailout, no effective political strategy in sight and a staggering rise in COVID-19 cases, many of the nearly 2 million Syrian and Palestinian refugees — large numbers of whom are unregistered — are among the most vulnerable casualties of Lebanon's state of demise. 

“If 1,000 people die right now, nobody cares. Governments only think about business and their own benefits — we are just cards they play, we are just numbers,” said Dr. Fares Alghadban, 35, a Syrian refugee who for nearly three years was the only physician in his war-ravaged town of Zabadani in the suburbs of Damascus.

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