The New York Times reports: The number of Syrians who have fled into neighboring countries to escape the civil war has reached more than four million, the United Nations said Thursday, and with the fighting dragging into its fifth year the number is still rising.
More than 24,000 people crossed into Turkey to escape fighting in northern Syria in June, pushing the number now sheltering in neighboring countries past four million, increasing the Syrian refugee population by one million in just 10 months, the United Nations refugee agency reported.
International aid agencies say the fighting has driven at least 7.6 million people who remain in the country from their homes.
“This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation,” Antonio Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, said in a statement. Mr. Guterres, once again, warned that international aid was not keeping pace with the scale of the crisis, and that many refugees were “sinking deeper into poverty.”
“Worsening conditions are driving growing numbers toward Europe and further afield,” Mr. Guterres said, “but the overwhelming majority remain in the region.”
The latest influx into Turkey raised the number of Syrian refugees there to 1.8 million, giving it the biggest refugee population in the world, the United Nations reported. As many as 1.2 million Syrians are now sheltering in Lebanon, more than 629,000 are in Jordan and close to quarter of a million have fled to Iraq.
The United Nations has appealed for $5.5 billion in aid in 2015 to deal with the humanitarian fallout of the Syria crisis. But by the end of June it had received less than a quarter of that amount, the refugee agency said. [Continue reading…]