Syr­ian refugees top 3 mil­lion: UN

The Financial Daily - - CONTINUATIONS -

UNITED NA­TIONS: More than three mil­lion peo­ple have fled Syria's civil war, the United Na­tions' refugee agency (UNHCR) said Fri­day as the three-year ex­o­dus showed no sign of slow­ing.

The record fig­ure comes amid "hor­ri­fy­ing" con­di­tions in­side the coun­try in­clud­ing "cities where pop­u­la­tions are sur- rounded, peo­ple are go­ing hun­gry and civil­ians are be­ing in­dis­crim­i­nately killed," the agency said.

A fur­ther 6.5 mil­lion peo­ple have been dis­placed within Syria, mean­ing that "al­most half of all Syr­i­ans have now been forced to aban­don their homes and flee for their lives."

"The Syr­ian cri­sis has be­come the big­gest hu­man­i­tar­ian emer­gency of our era, yet the world is fail­ing to meet the needs of refugees and the coun­tries host­ing them," said High Com­mis­sioner for Refugees An­to­nio Guter­res.

And UNHCR Spe­cial En­voy An­gelina Jolie said: "Three mil­lion refugees is not just an­other statis­tic. It is a sear­ing in­dict­ment of our col­lec­tive fail­ure to end the war in Syria."

UNHCR Spokes­woman Melissa Flem­ing told a press brief­ing in Geneva Fri­day that in­creas­ing num­bers of fam­i­lies are ar­riv­ing in a shocking state, ex­hausted, scared and with their savings de­pleted. Most have been on the run for a year or more, flee­ing from vil­lage to vil­lage be­fore tak­ing the fi­nal de­ci­sion to leave their coun­try.

The vast ma­jor­ity re­mained in coun­tries neigh­bour­ing Syria, with the high­est con­cen­tra­tions in Le­banon (1.14 mil­lion), Jor­dan (608,000) and Turkey (815,000), ac­cord­ing to UNHCR.

In ad­di­tion to the 3 mil­lion reg­is­tered refugees, gov­ern- ments es­ti­mated that hun­dreds of thou­sands more Syr­i­ans had sought sanc­tu­ary in their coun­tries with more than four in five refugees strug­gling to make a liv­ing in towns and cities out­side of camps, with 38 per­cent liv­ing in sub-stan­dard shel­ter, ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey.

Syr­i­ans are now the world's largest refugee pop­u­la­tion un­der UNHCR care, sec­ond only in num­ber to the decades­long Pales­tinian cri­sis.

The Syria op­er­a­tion is now the largest in the agency's 64year his­tory. Jens Laerke, Spokesman for the UN Of­fice for the Co­or­di­na­tion of Hu­man­i­tar­ian Af­fairs (OCHA), stated that more than 191,000

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