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

    Multimedia Obama Calls on Americans to Help the Families of Its War Dead

    In last Memorial Day of his presidency, Obama lays wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery

    The Strife of the Party: Will Trump Permanently Alter Republicans?

    While billionaire mogul's no-holds-barred style, high-energy delivery are what rocketed him to nomination, they also have created rift between party elites and his supporters

    China's Education Reforms Spark Protest

    Beijing is putting a quota system in place to increase the number of students from poor regions attending universities

    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.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora