1m Fled Syria in Past 10 Months

1m Fled Syria in Past 10 Months1m Fled Syria in Past 10 Months

More than four million Syrians have fled the civil war ravaging their country to become refugees in the surrounding region, a million of them in the past 10 months alone, the United Nations said on Thursday.

“This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation,” UN refugee chief Antonio Guterres said in a statement, Middle East Online reported.

“It is a population that needs the support of the world but is instead living in dire conditions and sinking deeper into poverty.”

The UN refugee agency said a surge in new refugee arrivals in Turkey had pushed the total number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries to over 4,013,000 people.

Just over 10 months ago, at the end of August 2014, the number of registered Syrian refugees stood at three million, UNHCR said, adding that if Syrians continue fleeing their country at the same pace, it expects the number to balloon to 4.27 million by the end of the year.

The current number of refugees is already by far the highest handled by UNHCR for a single conflict in nearly a quarter century, since the agency was assisting some 4.6 million Afghan refugees in 1992, a spokeswoman said.

 Turkey Warns on Refugee Influx

Turkey would struggle to cope with a new influx of refugees from Syria and many of them would likely end up trying to get into Europe, Turkey’s EU affairs minister warned in comments published on Friday.

Turkey is already sheltering close to 2 million Syrian migrants, more than any of the war-torn country’s other neighbors, making it the world’s leading host of refugees. It now fears fighting around the northern Syrian city of Aleppo could push as many as one million more over its borders.

“Turkey has reached its total capacity for refugees. Now, there is talk that a new wave of refugees may emerge. That would exceed Turkey’s (capacity), and it would put the EU face to face with more migrants,” Volkan Bozkir told Hurriyet newspaper during a trip to Brussels.

Bozkir said the amount Turkey had spent on refugees, it has established a string of camps along its 900 km border with Syria, dwarfed the contribution from the European Union, which Turkey wants to join.

“We have spent $6 billion so far. The total amount that the EU has provided is €70 million and it is still just a promise; it has not yet arrived with us,” he said.