United Nations: '1 in 3 Syrians need help'
About one in every three Syrians needs some sort of aid. Neighboring countries could see approximately 3.5 million Syrian refuges by the end of 2013. All of this is according to the United Nations (UN) following a televised conference in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday.
On Friday the UN made its largest appeal in history, asking for some $5.2 billion in aid to help the millions suffering from the conflict in Syria.
"We expect that we might reach 3.5 million refugees by the end of the year," U.N. refugee chief Antonio Guterres told the media. "If the fighting doesn't stop, we risk an explosion in the Middle East for which the international community is simply not prepared.”
Syria’s neighboring countries – Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt – are believed to have approximately 1.6 million refuges inside its borders. Of the aforementioned, Lebanon and Jordan are carrying the heaviest load, with about 500,000 refuges behind their borders, Guterres said.
According to CNN, the UN is asking international donors for $450 to $380 million.
So far, the UN has collected about $1.4 billion of the $5.2 billion it’s seeking.
Reports indicate there have been more than 80,000 deaths in Syria since the fighting started. In December, the UNHCR asked for $1 billion in aid but has since increased that figure. According to the organization, more than 4 million Syrians are displaced in their own country.
“We had hoped we would not have to do it again, but today we are asking for $4.4 billion for the whole of 2013,” said Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Valerie Amos on Friday. “That’s more than half the combined total of all of our other appeals which cover 16 countries from Afghanistan through to Somalia.”