Report: UN expects another two million Syrian refugees in 2014
The UN is expecting another two million Syrians to become refugees in 2014, and an additional 2.25 million to be displaced within the country as result of the ongoing conflict.
According to a document seen by Reuters on Monday, UN agencies are preparing to launch a new aid appeal for victims of the conflict, which began in March 2011 and shows no sign of abating.
Officials from 10 UN agencies, the International Organization for Migration and 18 other aid groups met in Amman on Sept. 26 to plan their strategy for 2014, Reuters reported.
"The most likely scenario was perceived to be continuation and escalation of the conflict with increased fragmentation, disruption of essential services and further erosion of coping mechanisms," officials from UN humanitarian agency OCHA told the meeting, according to a statement posted on a UN website.
OCHA forecast that up to 8.3 million people -- or more than a third of Syria's pre-war population of 23 million -- would be in need by the end of 2014, a 37 percent increase over 2013, including 6.5 million internally displaced people, a 54 percent increase, according to Reuters.
Initially, the number of refugees was expected to reach 3.2 million by December 2013, one million more than now, and rise by an additional two million by 2014, according to the UN website's statement.
The majority of Syrian refugees have been registered in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.
The UN document added that planning for the needs of refugees in 2014 would also include those arriving in Europe and North Africa, as necessary, according to Reuters.