News / Middle East

    UN: Lebanon Now Hosting 1 Million Syrian Refugees

    FILE - Syrians waiting for their appointments at the U.N. refugee agency's registration center in Zahleh, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
    FILE - Syrians waiting for their appointments at the U.N. refugee agency's registration center in Zahleh, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley.
    VOA News
    The United Nations refugee agency said Lebanon is now hosting more than 1 million Syrian refugees who have fled their country's three-year-old crisis.

    The UNHCR said the "devastating milestone" was reached Thursday, and that Lebanon is struggling to keep up with the influx. Lebanon's own population is about 6 million people.

    U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres called the impact "staggering" and said Lebanon needs more help to provide services.

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    The U.N. has asked for more than $4 billion to aid Syrian refugees in the region this year, with nearly half that total for Lebanon alone. Donations so far have reached about 13 percent of that total.

    The World Bank said the Syrian crisis has hurt Lebanon's economy, with an estimated $2.5 billion in lost economic activity last year.

    Refugees have fled Syria in increasing numbers as fighting there has continued and international efforts to broker peace have failed to produce any real progress.

    In April 2012, the U.N. had registered about 30,000 Syrian refugees. Last April, that number was about 1 million. Today, there are 2.6 million Syrian refugees in addition to 6.5 million people displaced within the country.

    Turkey hosts the second highest number of refugees with 668,000, followed by Jordan with 589,000, Iraq with 220,00 and Egypt with 136,000.

    The U.N. has stopped issuing updated death tolls in Syria, but has reported that well over 100,000 people have died in the fighting. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said this week its own count now exceeds 150,000 dead.
    • Rescuers help an injured civilian at a site hit by what activists said were barrel bombs dropped by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Aleppo's al-Sakhour district, April 2, 2014.
    • A damaged building is pictured in Masaken Hanano, Aleppo, April 2, 2014.
    • Free Syrian Army fighters prepare a rocket propelled grenade launcher before heading to the front line in Khan Sheikhoun in northern Idlib province, April 2, 2014.
    • Fighters from Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant burn confiscated cigarettes in the city of Raqqa, April 2, 2014.
    • Fighters from the Free Syrian Army's Al Rahman legion help a wounded comrade in Mleha suburb of Damascus, April 2, 2014.
    • A rebel fighter gestures as he runs across a street in Mleha suburb of Damascus, April 2, 2014.

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    by: Not Again from: Canada
    April 03, 2014 12:11 PM
    This Syrian conflict is a terrible disaster, great evil is taking place against innocent civilians, and not just by the direct effects of munitions, but also by the lack of fundamental basic humanitarian supplies, and resources to sustain life. the WHO needs to insitude crash programs to provide preventive medical services, like vaccines, medications and trauma support for the refugees; food, water, and shelters are also in short supply= WHO needs more resources. Many countries around the world have food/medication surpluses, far more needs to be done to deliver supplies to the refugees. No question that Lebanon will end up failing under all the load of the services/resources required to support the traumatized victims of this very dastardly conflict. Not a very good response by the community of nations.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    April 03, 2014 9:31 AM
    TRUTH BE TOLD.... All the Syrian refugees could start returning home in a few months .. (IF?) .. the US, EU, and NATO countries, along with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, and Kuwait, would stop supplying weapons to the extremists and terrorists fighting the Assad government...MY OPINION? ... Syria was the most democratic country of all the Islamic countries, with all religions living together peacefully .. (UNTIL?) .. the US decided to overthrow the Assad government, because Israel and Saudi Arabia wanted it done
    In Response

    by: Brenda K. from: UK
    April 03, 2014 10:31 AM
    that is not the truth at all... Syria was a "State" that sponsored terrorism - their blunder was - like all States that sponsor terrorism - that terrorist activity will be directed at those they do not like... but terrorist organizations ultimately destroys the society in which they are allowed to flourish... like Lebanon... like Libya... like Iraq... like Afghanistan... like Pakistan... like Iran... like Egypt... like Saudi Arabia - but here the Saudis just realized that support for the likes of Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood is about to destroy their own corrupt comforts...

    I just hope that you are just an Iranian imposter, masquerading under a false flag, and not a Syrian Arab seeking asylum in the USA and poisoning the country that allowed you to be free...

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