More than two million refugees have fled Syria - UN
A child pulls a suitcase as Syrian refugees arrive in Turkey at the Cilvegozu crossing gate of Reyhanli, in Hatay, on August 31, 2013. (AFP)
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The number of Syrian refugees who have fled the violence in Syria has topped the two million mark, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement Tuesday.
“The number of Syrian refugees passed the threshold of two million, and with no sign of this tragic outflow ending,” the statement said.
“The war is now well into its third year and Syria is haemorrhaging women, children and men who cross borders often with little more than the clothes on their backs,” the UNHCR said.
Antonio Guterres, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Refugees, said Syria has become the “great tragedy of this century – a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history.”
The UNHCR called for an “urgent” and “massive” international support to help the Syrian refugees deal with the crisis as an average of almost 5,000 Syrians are fleeing into neighboring countries every day.
"If the situation continues to deteriorate at this rate, the number of refugees will only grow, and some neighboring countries could be brought to the point of collapse,” Jolie said.
The statement said that ministers from Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey would meet Wednesday in Geneva in a bid to accelerate international support in view of the pressure the refugee exodus is placing on them.
The number of two million represents Syrians who have registered as refugees or who are pending registration, the UNHCR said, adding that a further 4.5 million people are displaced inside Syria.
It said that as of end of August, this comprised 716,000 in Lebanon, 110,000 in Egypt, 168,000 in Iraq, 515,000 in Jordan, and 460,000 in Turkey.
Some 52 percent of this population are children aged 17 years or below.
On Aug. 23, the UNHCR announced that the number of Syrian child refugees had exceeded a million.
UNHCR is active in Syria and is leading the humanitarian response to the refugee crisis in each of the surrounding countries. Humanitarian agencies are worryingly underfunded, with only 47 percent of funds required to meet basic refugee needs received.
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