Fleeing imminent death, three million Syrians now registered in other countries. That's half the population of Syria.
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/29/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
"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," Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in a statement. As of this week, three million Syrian refugees have registered in neighboring countries. Many others remain trapped by the advance of Islamist militants.
A bride crossing the Israel-Syria border.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Still others have difficulty in reaching open border crossings, the U.N. said.
Syrians who wish to leave their beleaguered homeland are frequently forced to pay hefty bribes at armed checkpoints along the country's borders.
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The record figure is one million refugees more than a year ago, while a further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria, meaning that "almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives," it said.
"Three million refugees is not just another statistic. It is a searing indictment of our collective failure to end the war in Syria," Hollywood star Angelina Jolie, who serves as UNHCR special envoy, said in a separate statement.
The vast majority of Syrian refugees remain in neighboring countries, with the highest concentrations in Lebanon at 1.17 million, Turkey at 830,000 and Jordan 613,000, the UNHCR said.
Some 215,000 refugees are in Iraq with the rest in Egypt and other countries. Syrians have also been among migrants who have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to reach Europe, Jolie said.
Government hosting refugees estimate that hundreds of thousands more Syrians have sought sanctuary in their countries without formally registering.
Journeys out of Syria is becoming tougher for desperate families, the report said.
Some areas of Syria are emptying out as the front lines in the conflict shift. "Recent arrivals to Jordan, for example, are running from attacks in the areas of al-Raqqa and Aleppo," the UNHCR said, referring to northern areas of Syria controlled by Islamic State forces.
"The borders are open in Lebanon. They're managed in Jordan and Turkey, that is in those countries feeling very legitimate security concerns, they are screening people who are coming in," UNHCR chief spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said in a briefing.
"In Iraq, the border is closed, it was closed some time ago in Anbar province and actually now it's no longer controlled by the government of Iraq," she said.
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