Over 4mn refugees fled Syria: UN
The United Nations says the number of Syrian refugees fleeing violence in their country has surpassed four million as the crisis there intensifies.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said the number of people seeking refuge in neighboring countries has increased by 1 million to more than 4,013,000 in the past 10 months.
The figures come as part of a new report on the statistics of externally displaced Syrians published by the UNHCR on Thursday.
The figure includes registered refugees and newer arrivals awaiting registration, according to the UNHCR.
The UNHCR’s overall count of 4 million does not include the 270,000 who have applied for asylum in European countries.
In addition, the report added that there are 7.6 million Syrians who have fled from their homes, but have stayed inside their country.
“It is a population that needs the support of the world, but is instead living in dire conditions and sinking deeper into poverty,” said Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.
The UNHCR said donor countries are not doing enough to help major host countries neighboring Syria.
The largest numbers of refugees were seeking shelter in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
Turkey has taken in 1.8 million Syrians, followed by 1.2 million in Lebanon, 630,000 in Jordan, 250,000 in Iraq, 130,000 in Egypt and 24,000 in other North African countries.
Countries that have high populations of Syrian refugees are now overwhelmed by the influx because their government budgets, job markets and public services have been negatively impacted, the report said.
Therefore the “worsening conditions are driving growing numbers towards Europe and further afield, but the overwhelming majority remain in the region,” Guterres said.
An increasing number of Syrians in the region have to beg, put their children to work, or marry them off to survive, according to the international organization.
Refugees also face food aid cuts because of lacking funds, the UNHCR reported.
Many of those who have fled conflict now live in difficult conditions, with poor sanitation and insufficient resources to cope with the harsh winters.
Syria has been gripped by deadly violence since 2011. According to the UN, over 190,000 people have so far been killed.