UN: Two million refugees have fled Syria


Over two million refugees have fled Syria’s ongoing civil war, the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR said in a statement on Tuesday.

It added that the number of refugees had grown tenfold over the past 12 months resulting in nearly 10 percent of the country’s population living as refugees outside Syria.

U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, said, "What is appalling is that the first million fled Syria in two years. The second million fled Syria in six months."

He referred to Syria as "the great tragedy of this century - a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history."

More than 97 percent of Syrian refugees are hosted by neighbouring countries like Turkey, Jordan, Iraq and Lebanon. Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp is home to the largest numbers of civilians feeling the war that broke out in March 2011. [Check our speaker Faisal Attrache’s documentary project in Zaatari camp].

Living conditions in refugee camps, where over 50 percent of the population is below 18 years of age, are worsening as the humanitarian crisis within the country escalates.

Additionally, the number of internally displaced people within Syria has reached over 4.2 million, according to the UNHCR.

Meanwhile, U.S. President Barack Obama is pushing for a military intervention in Syria against President Bashar al Assad’s alleged chemical weapons attack on civilians in a Damascus suburb last month. Assad however has rejected these allegations and warned against a possible international intervention in the coming days. 

Sources: UNHCR, ReutersBBC

Photo: Syrian refugee child in Qaa, Lebanon by Freedom House.