News / Middle East

Number of Syrian Refugees Tops Two Million, UN Says

  • Syrian refugee children look at their Korean taekwondo instructor at Zaatari refugee camp near Mafraq, Jordan, Sept. 17, 2013.
  • Migrants arrive by rescue boat with a group that includes Syrian refugees, Pozzallo harbor, Sicily, Sept. 17, 2013.
  • A Syrian refugee shows her immigration papers before boarding a flight to Germany for temporary relocation, at Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut, Lebanon, Sept. 11, 2013.
  • Mustafa Abu Bekir is carried on the shoulder of a relative as he arrives at the Turkish Cilvegozu gate border, Sept. 9, 2013.
  • A Syrian man carries his belongings as he enters Turkey from the Turkish Cilvegozu border gate, Sept. 9, 2013.
  • Syrian refugees gather at the the Turkish border gate at Cilvegozu, Sept. 4, 2013.
  • A young Syrian refugee stands beside water containers at Al-Zaatri refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria, Sept. 1, 2013.
  • Jordanian workers prepare materials to build the Azraq Syrian Refugee Camp, the third of its kind, near Al Azraq, east of Amman, Sept. 1, 2013.
  • Syrian refugee children stand outside their tent, at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of Faour near the border with Syria, August 28, 2013.
  • A Syrian refugee girl walks at a temporary refugee camp in the eastern Lebanese town of Marj near the border with Syria, August 28, 2013.
  • Young Syrian refugees watch a news broadcast on the Syria crisis with their father (unseen) at their temporary home at the Al Hussein refugees camp in Amman, Jordan, August 29, 2013.
  • A view of the new refugee camp in the outskirts of the city of Arbil in Iraq's Kurdistan region, August 26, 2013.
Camps for Syrian refugees
Lisa Schlein
The United Nations refugee agency says more than two million Syrians have fled their war-torn country -- more than half are children, with most under age 11.  The agency says it is planning for the possibility of 3.5 million refugees by the end of the year.  
Map showing Syrian refugee populations.Map showing Syrian refugee populations.
Map showing Syrian refugee populations.
Map showing Syrian refugee populations.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, says 5,000 to 6,000 women, children and men are fleeing across borders every day.
"If one looks at the recent escalation of the conflict, what is appalling is that the first million fled Syria during two years," he said. "The second million fled Syria in six months.  We have now about one-third of the Syrian population that is displaced either Inside or outside the country.  And, almost half of the Syrian population that is in need of assistance again either outside or inside the country."
Besides the two million Syrian refugees, the UNHCR estimates several hundred thousand have not registered as refugees and are not counted in the official statistics.  In addition, the United Nations reports more than four million people are displaced inside Syria.

Syrian Refugees by Country

  • Lebanon: 720,003
  • Jordan: 519,676
  • Turkey: 463,885
  • Iraq: 171,984
  • Egypt: 111,101

Source: UNHCR
The UNHCR says more than 97 percent of Syria’s refugees are in neighboring countries - Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.  Lebanon has more than 720,000 refugees, while Jordan and Turkey have near a half million apiece.

Iraq’s Kurdistan has nearly 172,000 Syrian refugees, 47,000 of whom arrived in the last two weeks of August.
Guterres says these countries are in need of massive international support.
"To preserve the stability of those countries in this extremely difficult situation is absolutely essential," he said. "The war is already spilling over into Lebanon and into Iraq and the risks of an explosion in the Middle East are growing by the day."  
The UNHCR is meeting with government ministers from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey on Wednesday in a bid to drum up international support. The agency says it has received less than half of the $1.16 billion dollars it needs to assist refugees until the end of the year.

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Comment Sorting
by: ken
September 04, 2013 4:36 AM
Let Russia and China handle the refugees. We will see!

by: rosas from: malaysia
September 03, 2013 10:55 AM
This is the price the Arab population has to pay for upholding Arabism ideology. Arabism breeds prolong evaporation of trust amongst leaders & people of Gulf States. Arabism breeds systemic disintegration of brotherhood bonding amongst ummah in middle east. Arabism drives the the whole of Gulf States heading towards the 3rd law of thermodynamics. Refer to Quran 9:97 for undisputable truth about Arabism.

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