News / Middle East

Syrians to Replace Afghans as Biggest Refugee Population

FILE - Syrian refugees, fleeing the violence in Syria, wait to enter Turkey on the Syrian-Turkish border in Shamm Alqrain village, northern countryside of Aleppo.
FILE - Syrian refugees, fleeing the violence in Syria, wait to enter Turkey on the Syrian-Turkish border in Shamm Alqrain village, northern countryside of Aleppo.
VOA News
The top United Nations refugee official said Syrians are about to pass Afghans as the world's biggest refugee population, and that those who have fled the country's crisis "have not escaped their trauma and psychological wounds."

Syrian refugees by country

  • Lebanon: 938,392
  • Turkey: 619,642
  • Jordan: 577,786
  • Iraq: 224,356
  • Egypt: 134,450

Source: UNHCR
Addressing the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday, High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres urged the international community to support Syria's neighbors, who have taken in nearly 2.5 million refugees.

He also highlighted the impact that three years of fighting has had on the youngest Syrians.

"Children who have seen scenes no child should ever see have been wounded physically or psychologically, and with every day the fighting drags on, these children are at risk of losing their future forever," said Guterres.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said large numbers of civilians remain under siege - more than 200,000 by government forces, and 45,000 by opposition fighters. He said both sides must allow humanitarian aid to reach those in need.

"Denying access to people in urgent need of food, water or medical supplies is a fundamental denial of their rights to life and human dignity. Yet there are continued reports of sieges, massacres and atrocities. The international community is strongly committed to pursuing justice and accountability for flagrant violations," said Ban.

In addition to those who have fled the country, the U.N. says at least 6.5 million people are displaced within Syria. The crisis that began in March 2011 has killed well over 100,000 people and wounded nearly 700,000 others.

UNHCR Registered Syrian refugeesUNHCR Registered Syrian refugees
x
UNHCR Registered Syrian refugees
UNHCR Registered Syrian refugees
U.N. human rights chief Navi Pillay said the failure to bring about a comprehensive cease-fire "should weigh heavily on our conscience."

"The international community, led by this assembly, must support an immediate end to one of the most tragic human rights and humanitarian crises of our time," said Pillay.

Pillay's deputy, Kyung-Wha Kang, highlighted the devastation for those still in Syria. She said nearly one-fifth of the country's school have been destroyed or taken over by fighters, 40 percent of hospitals are out of service and the supply of water has been cut in half.

"These numbers grow every day and have become routine news. Perhaps they no longer shock, but they must. It is critical that we remember that behind each number is a family, a child whose life has been ended or devastated," said Kang.

U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi brought the Syrian government and opposition together for two rounds of peace talks in the past month, but the negotiations have achieved little. The United States and Russia worked for months to convene the talks, with the hope that the Syrian sides would negotiate an end to the fighting.

Last week, the U.N. Security Council unanimously approved a resolution demanding the government and rebels provide immediate access for humanitarian aid to reach millions in need. It said the humanitarian situation will continue to worsen until there is a genuine political solution that meets the aspirations of the Syrian people.

You May Like

Nigeria Incumbent in Tight Spot as Poll Nears

Muhammadu Buhari is running a strong challenge to Goodluck Jonathan, amid a faltering economy and Boko Haram security worries More

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo tells VOA that despite her fame, life is still a struggle as she waits for government's promise of support to arrive More

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

At least seven different indigenous groups in Ratanakiri depend mainly on forest products for their survival, say they face loss of their land, traditional way of life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More