Number of Syrian refugees doubles in 2013 according to UN agency
The UN refugee agency says the number of Syrian asylum seekers in developed countries doubled last year from 2012, as the turmoil in the Arab country entered its fourth year.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a report on Friday that the number of Syrians seeking asylum in 44 industrialized countries increased to 56,400 in 2013 from 25,200 in 2012 and 8,500 in 2011.
“There is clear evidence in these numbers of how the Syria crisis in particular is affecting countries and regions of the world far… from the Middle East,” said United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.
The annual UN refugee agency report on global asylum trends also said that last year Syrians made up 9.4 percent of 612,700 people who sought asylum in 38 European countries, eight countries in North America, East Asia and the Pacific.
On March 19, Ross Mountain, the acting UN resident and humanitarian coordinator in Lebanon, said that the UNHCR registered over 950,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, adding that the figure would reach 1.5 million by the end of this year.
Mountain called on the international community to support Lebanon as the country is at the moment the largest per capita recipient of Syrian refugees.
Some 130,000 people have died and millions of others have been displaced over the past three years of turmoil in Syria.