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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment 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.
Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Agei
X
Elizabeth Lee
July 20, 2014 2:36 AM
Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.
Video

Video Diplomatic Crisis Grows Over MH17 Plane Crash

The Malaysia Airlines crash in eastern Ukraine is drawing reaction from leaders around the world. With suspicions growing that a surface-to-air missile shot down the aircraft, there are increasing tensions in the international community over who is to blame. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Undocumented Immigrants Face Perilous Journey to US, No Guarantees

Every day, hundreds of undocumented immigrants from Central America attempt the arduous journey through Mexico and turn themselves over to U.S. border patrol -- with the hope that they will not be turned away. But the dangers they face along the way are many, and as Ramon Taylor reports from the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, their fate rests on more than just the reception they get at the US border.
Video

Video Scientists Create Blackest Material Ever

Of all the black things in the universe only the infamous "black holes" are so black that not even a tiny amount of light can bounce back. But scientists have managed to create material almost as black, and it has enormous potential use. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Fog Collector Transforming Maasai Water Harvesting in Kenya

The Maasai people of Kenya are known for their cattle-herding, nomadic lifestyle. But it's an existence that depends on access to adequate water for their herds and flocks. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA, on a "fog collector."

AppleAndroid