Syrian refugee numbers pass 4 million mark

2015-07-09 07:37
(Vadim Ghirda, AP)

(Vadim Ghirda, AP)

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Geneva - The intensifying Syrian crisis has pushed the number of refugees fleeing the country above 4 million, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Thursday in Geneva.

The number has increased by 1 million to more than 4 013 000 in the past 10 months.

In addition, there are 7.6 million Syrians who have fled from their homes but have stayed within their country.

"It is a population that needs the support of the world but is instead living in dire conditions and sinking deeper into poverty," said Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees.

UNHCR criticised that donor countries are not doing enough to help major host countries in Syria's neighbourhood, whose government budgets, job markets and public services are overwhelmed by the influx.

An increasing number of Syrians in the region have to beg, put their children to work or marry them off to survive, and refugees face food aid cuts because of lacking funds, UNHCR reported.

"Worsening conditions are driving growing numbers towards Europe and further afield, but the overwhelming majority remain in the region," Guterres said.

Turkey has taken in 1.8 million Syrians, followed by 1.2 million in Lebanon, 630 000 in Jordan, 250 000 in Iraq, 130 000 in Egypt and 24 000 in other North African countries.

UNHCR's overall count of 4 million does not include the 270 000 who have applied for asylum in European countries.

The crisis in Syria, which started with anti-government protests in 2011, has evolved into a complex war that involves the government's army and militias, opposition rebels, Kurdish forces, as well as extremist groups such as Islamic State.

Read more on:    un  |  syria  |  syria conflict

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