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U.N.: Syrian refugees top three million

Friday, August 29, 2014 - 02:04

The United Nations agency for refugees, UNHCR, says nearly half of all Syrians are now displaced either within Syria or outside the country. Most of the refugees have fled the Syrian civil war to camps in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. Nathan Frandino reports.

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For months now, the lines at United Nations refugee registration camps have been getting longer. Faces show signs of exhaustion and lives scarred by war. These refugees, at a camp in Beirut, are from Syria. They are among three million displaced Syrians, the UN says are now registered in neighboring countries. And Batoul Ahmed from the UN High Commissioner for Refugees says they keep coming. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR REGIONAL SPOKESPERSON BATOUL AHMED SAYING: "This is very tragic milestone for UNHCR and for the Syrian people." In just over a year the number of Syrian refugees has tripled. Iman is a refugee in Mount Lebanon. She says she remembers the horrors of war all too vividly. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SYRIAN REFUGEE, IMAN, SAYING: "We couldn't take it anymore; from being hungry to being cold, being under siege, being bombarded all the time. We saw people die in front of our eyes because of the bombing from both sides." Lebanon hosts the most refugees with 1.14 million registered in Turkey and Jordan following closely behind. Officials there estimate that hundreds of thousands more Syrians have sought sanctuary without formally registering, prompting calls by the UN for more resources. (SOUNDBITE) (English) UNHCR REGIONAL SPOKESPERSON BATOUL AHMED SAYING: "Despite the generosity of the donor community, we are still two billion dollars short of the funding we need to respond to the existent and growing needs." The UN says nearly half of all Syrians are now displaced, either outside the country or within Syria itself. And with a three year war raging on, and no end in sight, the refugee crisis is likely to get worse.

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U.N.: Syrian refugees top three million

Friday, August 29, 2014 - 02:04