Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Syrian refugees pass 2 million mark: UN

03 September 2013, 10:10

Geneva - More than two million Syrians have now fled their war-ravaged country, the UN refugee agency said on Tuesday, lamenting the nearly 10-fold increase from a year ago.

"Syria is haemorrhaging women, children and men who cross borders often with little more than the clothes on their backs," the UNHCR said in a statement, pointing out that on 3 September 2012, it had registered just 230 671 Syrian refugees.

In addition to the two million Syrians living as refugees, some 4.25 million people have been displaced within the devastated country since the conflict began in March 2011, according to UN figures.

A staggering 6.2 million Syrians have thus been torn from their homes - a number without parallel in any other country and representing nearly a third of Syria's pre-war population of 20.8 million.

"Syria has become the great tragedy of this century," UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said in a statement, describing the situation in the country as "a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history."

The only solace, he said, "is the humanity shown by the neighbouring countries in welcoming and saving the lives of so many refugees".

‘Dangerous complacency’

In the past 12 months, almost 1.8 million people have flooded out of Syria, and an average of 5 000 continue to cross into neighbouring countries each day, UNHCR said, pointing out that on 23 August, the number of Syrian children living as refugees topped one million.

The massive influx is placing an overwhelming burden on the host countries, UNHCR warned.

At the end of August, some 716 000 Syrian refugees were registered or in the process of being registered in Lebanon, 515 000 in Jordan, 460 000 in Turkey, 168 000 in Iraq and 110 000 in Egypt, according to the agency's numbers.

"The tide of human suffering unleashed by the conflict has catastrophic implications," lamented US film star Angelina Jolie, who is a UNHCR special envoy to Syria.

"If the situation continues to deteriorate at this rate, the number of refugees will only grow, and some neighbouring countries could be brought to the point of collapse," she said, cautioning that "the world risks being dangerously complacent about the Syrian humanitarian disaster".

Even though the world remains "tragically disunited on how to end the Syria conflict," Jolie insisted "there should be no disagreement over the need to alleviate human suffering, and no doubt of the world's responsibility to do more".

"We have to support the millions of innocent people ripped from their homes, and increase the ability of neighbouring countries to cope with the influx," she said.

UNHCR said it planned to meet in Geneva with ministers from Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey on Wednesday in a bid to accelerate international support.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...