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Syrian Refugee at UNHCR tent
Syrian Refugee at UNHCR tent

UNHCR: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon passes 100,000

(DP-News - agencies)
Geneva- The number of Syrians fleeing civil war to neighboring Lebanon has now topped 100,000, the UN refugee agency said Tuesday, AFP reported.

"The UN refugee agency said Tuesday that Lebanon has become the third country in the region to see its population of registered Syrian refugees and people waiting for registration exceeding the 100,000 mark," the UNHCR said in a statement.
“As of Monday, the official number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon stood at 101,283.” UNHCR's chief spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, told journalists in Geneva.

"Turkey and Jordan already have refugee populations in excess of this figure, and region-wide the number has climbed to more than 358,000. Governments in states bordering Syria estimate there are tens of thousands more Syrians who have not yet registered," she added.

Fleming told reporters Tuesday in Geneva there also are more than 42,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq and 6,800 registered in North Africa, most of them in Egypt.

But she says governments bordering Syria estimate tens of thousands more Syrian refugees have not yet registered, including an estimated 70,000 in Turkey who live outside the camps.

In Lebanon, none of the fleeing Syrians in the country live in camps but are all instead living within local communities, Melissa Fleming, the UN agency's chief spokeswoman told reporters in Geneva.
Many of them, she stressed, have yet to register as refugees, meaning the actual numbers are likely far higher.

Governments in the region, as well as the UN refugee agency, believe "that many more will cross borders, but at the same time, many of those who are already in the country are going to come forward and as their resources dwindle," she said.

The unrest in Lebanon in recent days has not reduced the number of Syrians flooding into the country, Fleming said, adding though that it had affected the UNHCR refugee registration operations, including in Tripoli in the north, Aka, Beirut and Saida in the south.
"We are assessing the security situation and hope to resume all operations as soon as conditions allow," the UNHCR said.

According to the UNHCR, there are now more than 358,000 Syrians registered as refugees in neighboring countries.

UNHCR statement said that many of the refugees in Lebanon are struggling to make ends meet on the open economy and complain of high prices. Helping to ease the strain, the government announced last week that it will waive a fee for Syrians wishing to renew residency permits. Over the past week, some 16,000 refugees received food, blankets, mattresses, hygiene kits and baby kits from sources including UNHCR, the World Food Programme, the Danish Refugee Council, World Vision, the UN Population Fund, UNICEF and Caritas.

The UNHCR stressed the urgent need for funds, pointing out that nearly four weeks after it appealed for $487.9 million (374.4 million Euros), it had received only a third of the money it needs to help up to 710,000 Syrian refugees in neighboring countries by the end of the year.

Meanwhile, Fleming said that in anticipation of a possible truce during Eid, UNHCR has pre-positioned 5,000 emergency relief family kits in Aleppo, with another 5,000 on the way. "If the truce happens, these materials could be delivered to 10,000 displaced families by implementing partners in places that we have previously been unable to reach around Aleppo and Idlib," she explained.

In addition, UNHCR is dispatching 1,000 recreational items that Syria Trust for Development, a local NGO, will distribute this week to children living in communal shelters in Damascus and Aleppo.
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