You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

World

  • Passengers in Russia's Arctic give airliner a push
    In other countries, you may be asked to give a push to a car stuck in the mud. In Russia, passengers in the Arctic came out of an airliner to the bitter cold to help it move to the runway.
  • Freighter with 700 migrants being towed to Crete
    ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A Greek navy frigate was towing a crippled freighter with hundreds of migrants on board through gale-force winds and high waves to safety on the southern island of Crete today, a day after it suffered engine failure in
  • Once maligned, Iran's Jews find greater acceptance
    YAZD, Iran (AP) — More than a thousand people trekked across Iran this past week to visit a shrine in this ancient Persian city, a pilgrimage like many others in the Islamic Republic — until you notice men there wearing yarmulkes.
Advertisement

UN agency: Syrian refugee figure hits 1 million

BERLIN – The number of Syrians who have fled their war-ravaged country and are seeking assistance has now topped the one million mark, the United Nations’ refugee agency said Wednesday.

The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, said in a statement released in Geneva that the figure is based on reports from his agency’s field offices in neighboring countries that have provided refuge for Syrians escaping the civil war.

“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,” Guterres said.

Syria’s uprising began in March 2011 with protests against President Bashar Assad’s authoritarian rule. When the government cracked down on demonstrators, the opposition took up arms and the conflict turned into a full-blown civil war. The United Nations estimates that more than 70,000 people have been killed.

The relentless violence also has devastated many cities and forced hundreds of thousands of Syrians to seek refuge abroad.

Guterres said the number of refugees has swelled dramatically this year, with most Syrians pouring into Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. More than 400,000 people have become refugees since Jan. 1, and often arrive in neighboring countries “traumatized, without possessions and having lost members of their families,” he said.

Around half are children; the majority under age 11.

“We are doing everything we can to help, but the international humanitarian response capacity is dangerously stretched,” he said. “This tragedy has to be stopped.”

The U.N. in December estimated that 1.1 million Syrian refugees would arrive in neighboring countries by the end of June this year. At that time its regional response plan was only 25 percent funded, and it is now in the process of adjusting it in light of the new figures, Guterres said.

Advertisement