The Maronite Foundation visit to the White House
A delegation from Lebanon visited The Director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House, Mick Mulvani.
The delegation included MP Neemat Frem, the President of the Maronite Foundation in the World Mr. Charles G. Hage, the President of the Christian Defense Organization Mr. Tawfik Baqalini, Mr. Tom Abraham, and AMIID Chairman Michael Hage.
The visiting delegation briefed the Director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House and his national security adviser about the social, economic and environmental pressures resulting from the long presence of over one and a half million Syrian refugees on Lebanese territory. The delegation pointed out the insufficient resources allocated by the international community to provide care for the displaced Syrians, and the repercussions of this shortage on Lebanon, which is dangerously close to the edge of the abyss.
The delegation raised as well the high rate of Syrian births in Lebanon, which exceeds the actual number of Lebanese births during the same period. They pointed out that the vast majority of Syrian children born in the families of the displaced to Lebanon are still without birth certificates and therefore cannot obtain Syrian citizenship, considering that this would represent a clear threat to Lebanon's future, given its delicate internal balances. They pointed out that Syrians who are unable to obtain passports have to earn their living in miserable conditions and low wages in Lebanon, while young Lebanese from various Lebanese components migrate at an accelerated rate in search of lost jobs in their homeland.
In addition, public facilities and social services in Lebanon have been consumed by the overcrowding caused by the increasing number of Syrian and other refugees to this small country with massive population density.
"All these difficult challenges are facing Lebanon, while the national debt is at its highest level ever, and the risk of the government's inability to meet its commitments looms at the end of the next three months," the delegation concluded.
The Director of the Office of Management and Budget at the White House (OMB) expressed genuine concern about this possibility and pledged to bring this matter to other senior officials in the administration of US President Donald Trump as a priority.