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UNHCR camp for Syrian Refugees in Jordan (AFP)
UNHCR camp for Syrian Refugees in Jordan (AFP)

Syrian Refugees Crisis

(DP-News - agencies)
SYRIA- The UNHCR, the United Nations relief agency, announced on Tuesday that more than 274,000 Syrian refugees are now living in three neighboring countries. Nearly 102,000 of them are in Turkey, another 71,592 are in Lebanon and 58,622 more are in Jordan.

As the conflict rages between the Syrian regime troops and the disparate militias of Free Syrian Army; Syrian refugees pour into neighboring countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

Lebanon hosts now over 100,000 registered Syrian refugees, according to the UN's refugee agency, UNHCR.

UNHCR's chief spokesperson, Melissa Fleming, told journalists in Geneva on Tuesday that "As of yesterday, the number of refugees was 101,283. 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."

"UNHCR continues to stress the urgent need for international support to refugee programs in these countries – nations that should not be expected to carry the entire burden themselves. Nearly four weeks after the launch of the US$487.9 million revised Syria Regional Response Plan, we remain only about a third funded. And we are racing against time to ensure that all of these hundreds of thousands of refugees are protected from the winter cold." Fleming added.

In Syria itself, UNHCR said on Monday that it has reached the half-way mark in its goal of distributing non-food aid packages to 100,000 Syrian families (500,000 people) by the end of this year.

And last week, UNHCR Syria began rolling out a cash assistance programme for the displaced in Hassakeh governorate, providing money to 5,230 families (26,000 people).

With this one-time cash assistance, affected Syrian families will be able to meet some of the needs that are not covered by UNHCR's non-food aid packages. Hassakeh is the second location where Syrians have been able to benefit from the cash assistance programme, which was piloted in Al Nabek, south of Homs, UNHCR announced.

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.

Earlier, the United Nations reported some 150,000 refugees from Syria's civil war had settled in Lebanon and an additional 6,815 in North Africa, most of them in Egypt.

Egypt does not share a border with Syria, but the Egyptian government allows Syrians to enter without a visa.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says that the total number of registered Syrian refugees in Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon has reached more than of 350,000.


Here are the latest refugee numbers:

Jordan: 105,737

Turkey: 101,834

Lebanon: 101,283

Iraq: 42,661

European Union: 16,474


UNHCR believes 700,000 Syrian refugees will have fled the civil war by the end of 2012.

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," UNHCR's chief spokesperson, Melissa Fleming explained.

Syria's uprising, which began in March 2011, has killed more than 33,000 people, according to activists. The violence has displaced more than one million Syrians inside the country, and also triggered an exodus of people from the country.
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