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Syrian refugees now number over 500,000: UN

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 11:28

Geneva: The Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and North Africa now number more than 500,000, while a daily average of 3,000 people seek aid from the UN Refugee Agency.

According to figures released on Tuesday by the UN body, 425,160 Syrians have registered at its offices as refugees and another 84,399 are in the process or waiting to be registered because of the fighting in their country that broke out in March 2011.

Added to these official figures are around 200,000 people who have fled to countries bordering Syria but have not registered as refugees.

The majority of those displaced by the war are not living in refugee camps, agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said.

"The number of those struggling to live on the local economy and who eventually come forward to register are expected to increase as the conflict in Syria continues, resources are depleted and host communities and families can no longer support them," she said.

The spokeswoman said that with the approaching winter, the conditions of people escaping Syria are bound to get tougher every day.

In the case of Jordan, the UN Refugee Agency has seen an increase in arrivals of the elderly and children, with a 60 percent hike in refugees under age 18, including 22 newborns and many unaccompanied minors.


First Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 - 11:28
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