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September 23, 2013

Aid Groups Urge World Leaders to Do More for Syrian Refugees

by VOA News

Aid groups are urging world leaders meeting at the United Nations this week to give more aid to Syrian refugees, saying their funding appeals are falling short.

A coalition of 14 humanitarian organizations issued a statement in New York Monday saying many Syrian refugees are being left to fend for themselves, without adequate food, shelter and medicine.

They say an estimated 70 percent of Syria's refugees are moving into villages and cities rather than formal camps.

The groups also note the overwhelming numbers of refugees, saying that more than 50,000 Syrians arrived in northern Iraq during a single week last month. They say around 75,000 Syrians arrive each month in Lebanon and now make up one-fifth of that country's population.

Syria's civil war has forced two million people to flee the country, with another 4.5 million people displaced within Syria. In total, the conflict has forced more than a quarter of Syria's population to leave their homes.

Most of those who have fled the country have gone to neighboring nations, including Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.