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Syrian Refugees map (BBC)
Syrian Refugees map (BBC)

Syrian Refugees top 1.5 million

(DP-News – Omar alShaar )

Geneva- There are now over 1.5 million Syrian civilians, who have fled their country to escape conflict, and are now refugees in the neighbouring countries; The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR announced Friday.



“The Syrian conflict continues to have a devastating impact on the lives of those who are forced to flee,” Dan McNorton, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news conference in Geneva.



He added that the real number was probably much higher, owing to “concerns that some Syrians have regarding registration.”





While UNHCR continues to respond to the emergency needs of those in need inside Syria and in neighbouring countries, McNorton stressed that the widening gap between the needs and resources available is a growing challenge.



UNHCR has registered close to 1 million refugees since the beginning of the year – about 250,000 people each month. Early next month, the UN and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are due to announce a revised funding appeal for the Syria crisis.



“Refugees tell us the increased fighting and changing of control of towns and villages, in particular in conflict areas, results in more and more civilians deciding to leave. Over the past four months we have seen a rapid deterioration when compared to the previous 20 months of this conflict,” said McNorton.



The exodus has accelerated over the past four months and the agency estimates that nearly 1 million refugees have registered since January, U.N. officials said.

"The fact that more than 1.5 million have registered or have appointments with UNHCR sadly means the actual number is much higher," UNHCR said in a statement, without giving an estimate for the total.
"Refugees tell us the increased fighting and changing of control of towns and villages, in particular in conflict areas, results in more and more civilians deciding to leave," it said.

Syrians have been surged out of their country since March 2011, when a crackdown on protests against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad heralded the start of an armed rebellion.


Numbers ballooned as the conflict morphed into an increasingly sectarian civil war, and the total topped a million in March this year.

Most have fled to neighbouring Jordan, where close to 474,000 have been registered by UNHCR or are waiting registration, and to Lebanon, with over 470,000.

Some 347,000 are in Turkey, over 147,000 in Iraq and close to 67,000 in Egypt, according to UNHCR’s latest data.

In addition to the refugees, the United Nations has said that more than 4.25 million Syrians are displaced within their homeland.

That means that, all told, over a quarter of Syria’s pre-war population of 22.5 million have been forced to quit their homes since the conflict began.

The death toll has surpassed 90,000, according to the UN.

Syria's population is estimated at 23 million in 2013.

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