UN special envoy Angelina Jolie and UN High Commissioner for refugees Antonio Guterres visit a Syrian refugee camp in Mardin,Turkey. File photo
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Geneva – More than 4 million Syrians have fled the country since the start of the four-year-long civil war, making it the worst refugee crisis in a quarter century, according to the United Nations.
The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees reported that the total number of Syrian refugees “could be more than 4.25 million by the end of 2015”.
Additionally, more than 7.6 million Syrian people are internally displaced.
“This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation,” said António Guterres, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
“It is a population that deserves the support of the world but is instead living in dire conditions and sinking deeper into abject poverty,” Guterres said in a statement on Thursday.
According to U.N. records, about 45% of the Syrian refugees are living in Turkey, and most of the rest are scattered in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
“Worsening conditions are driving growing numbers towards Europe and further afield, but the overwhelming majority remain in the region,” Guterres added. “We cannot afford to let them and the communities hosting them slide further into desperation.”
Reporting by: Lorin Silo