UN: Syria is the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era

UN: Syria is the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era
Fri Aug 29, 2014 15:14:06

The United Nations says more than three million Syrians have fled the extremist-marked violence in their country warning that the condition is getting worse for the refugees.

In a report released on Friday, the UN’s refugee agency said that Syria’s rising refugee crisis has surpassed a record, with a million people leaving the violence-stricken country in the last 12 months alone.

Syria is now “the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era” with almost half of all Syrians forced to flee their homes, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.

“One in every eight Syrians has fled across the border, fully a million people more than a year ago. A further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. Over half of those uprooted are children,” it said.

The UNHCR also noted that the number does not include the hundreds of thousands who have fled without even being registered as refugees.

The report added that the majority of refugees have fled to countries neighboring Syria, with 1.14 million seeking refuge in Lebanon, 815,000 in Turkey, 608,000 in Jordan, 215,369 in Iraq.  More than 150,000 Syrians also sought shelter in North African states, including Egypt.

The UNHCR and other aid agencies say increasing numbers of refugees arriving in Syria’s neighboring states are exhausted and scared, with some having spent a year or more fleeing from village to village inside Syria.

“There are worrying signs too that the journey out of Syria is becoming tougher, with many people forced to pay bribes at armed checkpoints proliferating along the borders. Refugees crossing the desert into eastern Jordan are being forced to pay smugglers hefty sums (ranging from $100 per person or more) to take them to safety,” the UNHCR said.

Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. According to the UN, over 190,000 people have so far been killed.


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