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Syrian refugees hit 1.5 million mark

Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 01:17

May 19 - The UN says that the number of Syrian refugees has reached 1.5 million and is set to swell to 3 million by the end of the year. Sunita Rappai reports.

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Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan - home to thousands of Syrians fleeing their war-torn country. With no end in sight, the UN announced on Sunday that the number of registered Syrian refugees has reached 1.5 million - and is set to double by the end of the year. Syria's population is 23 million. UNHCR's representative in Jordan, Andrew Harper, said entire towns were fleeing the country. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE TO JORDAN, ANDREW HARPER, SAYING: "We're seeing that number increase by 10,000 plus per day, and we see no let-up in sight." Jordan has taken in more than 530,000 refugees since the start of the conflict, with Zaatari camp alone hosting more than 150,000. The numbers present a huge challenge. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR REPRESENTATIVE TO JORDAN, ANDREW HARPER, SAYING: "We're talking of basically having to provide the necessary means for the population of the size of many countries around the world. It's a disaster, it's a humanitarian disaster inside Syria, and that disaster is now having repercussions across the region." International powers remain divided over how to respond to Syria's civil war. Both Damascus and the opposition have said they will consider peace talks but no meetings have yet been arranged.

Syrian refugees hit 1.5 million mark

Sunday, May 19, 2013 - 01:17

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