Published On: Thu, Mar 7th, 2013

UN reports Syrian refugees now tops 1 million, violence displaced 2 million more

The number of Syrians who have fled their homeland during the almost two years of violence has officially exceeded 1 million, the United Nations said Wednesday.

The milestone had long been anticipated as the influx of refugees has continued inexorably, straining the resources of neighboring nations, especially Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq.

photo/FreedomHouse via Flickr public domain

photo/FreedomHouse via Flickr public domain

The violence in Syria reportedly has displaced an additional 2 million-plus people from their homes.

Aid groups and international observers have been calling the situation a humanitarian catastrophe and those warnings that were repeated Wednesday once the 1-million mark had been reached.

In fact, officials say many more than 1 million people have fled Syria; the official figures only include those who have formally registered with the U.N. as refugees or are in the process of registering.

Large numbers have not registered.

Many have escaped Syria traumatized from the war, having lost relatives in the violence, and without possessions beyond the clothes on their backs.

About half of the refugees are children, most younger than 11, the U.N. said.

Many find shelter in formal refugee camps close to Syria’s borders, but most have settled in communities, struggling to find work and pay the rent.

“With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling toward full-scale disaster,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Gutierres said in a statement. “We are doing everything we can to help, but the international humanitarian response capacity is dangerously stretched. This tragedy has to be stopped.”

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- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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