NewsPublic Affairs / August 29, 2014

U.N.: Syrian Refugee Crisis Is 'Biggest Humanitarian Emergency Of Our Era'

NPR
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U.N.: Syrian Refugee Crisis Is 'Biggest Humanitarian Emergency Of Our Era'

The Syrian civil war has sparked "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era."

That's according to António Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, who added that while the world's response to the crisis has been "generous," it hasn't met the needs of refugees.

The U.N. agency released new numbers on Friday and the picture they paint is exceedingly grim. A few data points from the report:

  • The total number of Syrian refugees is on the verge of surpassing 3 million people since the conflict began in 2011. By comparison, Chicago has a population of 2.7 million.
  • Nearly half of all Syrians have been forced to abandon their homes.
  • One in eight Syrians has fled the country.
  • 6.5 million Syrians are displaced inside the country.

The situation is also growing more acute, according to the report. More than half of the refugees coming into Lebanon, for example, told the agency that they have moved at least once before. One in 10 refugees in Lebanon say they have moved more than three times.

The U.N. also released a report on Thursday that assessed the conflict. As we reported, it found that both sides were indiscriminately killing and torturing civilians.

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