There are now 1 million Syrian refugees


Newly arrived Syrian refugees wait to be assigned to tents at the Zaatari Syrian refugees camp in Mafraq, near the Syrian border with Jordan. (AP/Mohammad Hannon)

Syria's ongoing civil conflict has officially displaced 1 million people, according to United Nations numbers released today.

The U.N.'s refugee agency, UNHCR, reports that there are 1,000,669 refugees either registered or awaiting registration at camps throughout the region, primarily in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq. More than 400,000 people have fled Syria since January alone.

“With a million people in flight, millions more displaced internally, and thousands of people continuing to cross the border every day, Syria is spiraling towards full-scale disaster,” António Guterres, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, 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."

Syrians face dire conditions in refugee camps, many of which are overcrowded and underfunded. While the international community pledged to meet a $1.5 billion U.N. appeal in December, UNHCR says it has yet to receive 20 percent of the promised money.

The Post's Taylor Luck recently reported on the mood inside exploding Jordanian camps:

In Zaatari, the resource crunch has sparked fierce competition among refugees. On a recent day, those awarded bread at the camp’s distribution center had lined up in front of the warehouse as early as 4 a.m.

 

Meanwhile, men in worn sweatshirts and flowing Bedouin cotton robes embarked on what has become known as the “march of shame” to the camp’s mile-long black-market souk after being turned away empty-handed at the bread line.

View a graphic of the Zaatari camp's dizzying expansion here.

Caitlin Dewey runs The Intersect blog, writing about digital and Internet culture. Before joining the Post, she was an associate online editor at Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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