BEIRUT (AP) – Discrimination and violence against Syrian refugees in Lebanon has soared in recent weeks as the country grapples with high food prices and shortages, the United Nations (UN) refugee agency told the Associated Press (AP) on Friday.
“We have seen tensions between Lebanese and Syrians at bakeries across the country,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesperson Paula Barrachina told the AP. “In some cases even involving shooting and using sticks against refugees.”
The UN’s World Food Programme said Lebanon is facing a food security crisis, with about half the population food insecure. People are also grappling with high food inflation and a currency that’s tanked over the past three years.
Barranchina said some parts of Lebanon have issued curfews for refugees or asked bakeries to prioritise Lebanese citizens.
According to a notice obtained by the AP, bakeries in Baalbek were ordered to prioritise Lebanese citizens for subsidised Arabic flatbread.