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Number of Syrian refugees exceeds three million — UN

August 29, 2014, 15:43 UTC+3 GENEVA
The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the Syrian crisis is the epoch’s biggest humanitarian disaster the end to which currently is not seen
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© EPA/WAEL HAMZEH

GENEVA, August 29. /ITAR-TASS/. The number of Syrians, who have fled their country due to the civil war that continues since 2011, has exceeded three million, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.

The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the Syrian crisis is the epoch’s biggest humanitarian disaster the end to which currently is not seen.

“Almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. One in every eight Syrians has fled across the border, fully a million more than a year ago. A further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. Over half of those uprooted are children,” UNHCR said in a statement released in Geneva.

Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said the Syrian crisis “has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them.” He added that the response to the Syrian crisis had been generous, “but the bitter truth is that it falls far short of what’s needed.” The neighboring countries have had to shoulder the main burden of the war in Syria that has already claimed more than 191,000 lives, according to the UN. The number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon with a population of four million has reached 1.14 million, in Jordan - 608,000, in Turkey - 815,000, and the rest refugees fled to Iraq and Egypt.

This has led to an enormous strain on their economies, infrastructure and resources, the UN agency says. More than four in five refugees are struggling to make a living in urban areas, with 38% living in sub-standard shelter, according to a recent survey. “Syrians are now the world’s largest refugee population under UNHCR care, second only in number to the decades-long Palestinian crisis. The Syria operation is now the largest in UNHCR’s 64-year history,’ the statement said.

The UNHCR also says only the refugees who passed registration are given in the statistics. For getting the full picture it is necessary to add to them several more hundreds of thousands of unregistered Syrians who fled to neighboring states.

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