Lebanon is banning Syrian refugees from living in bare box shelters made out of plywood and corrugated metal roofing. The NY Times explains why:
In the eyes of the Lebanese, the box shelters, made by the Danish Refugee Council, look too permanent and could encourage the Syrians to stay.
“The fear of permanence is very embedded in the Lebanese political psyche,” said Makram Malaeb, a manager in the Syrian refugee crisis unit at the Ministry of Social Affairs. “We had Palestinian refugees who were supposed to stay here for a month in 1948, and now they are a population of 500,000. And we went through a 15-year civil war where the Palestinians were a large player.”
This will provide fresh ammo to the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) which takes care of Palestinian refugees. The world’s other displaced persons fall under the responsibility of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which has a far better record of resettling refugees. Unfortunately, it’s not obvious to everybody at the UN that ending the UNRWA might advance peace.