accessibility & help

Number of refugees fleeing Syria reaches two million

3 September 2013

The UN announced today [Tuesday 3 September] that the number of registered Syrian refugees has reached two million. The British Red Cross says the real figures will be higher, and calls for more aid both inside and outside Syria.

Pete Garratt, British Red Cross disaster manager, said: “The scale of the humanitarian crisis both within Syria and the border countries is immense. There are now two million people who have been forced to leave their country, and still more struggling to survive inside Syria. We are working to provide emergency aid for families across the region but the pressure on resources means much more aid is needed, and will be for some time to come.

“To have reached this landmark figure of two million registered refugees is shocking, but the true figure is likely to be higher. We know there are people who will not have registered for support, for many reasons. They may be afraid of any form of authority or of registering their status.”

Additional challenges

In Jordan, 70 per cent of refugees are living in urban areas away from the camps, presenting additional challenges for agencies in both finding the families who need support, and getting the aid to them.

Garratt said: “Our colleagues from the Jordanian Red Crescent report finding families who have not registered, or are worried about coming forward to ask for support. They are still living with the psychological effects of having been in a conflict zone, and that makes people wary.”
The British Red Cross is supporting relief programmes in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and within Syria itself, where around four million people are thought to be displaced.

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Syria stories

“All the houses in our neighbourhood have been flattened now. Completely flattened.”

In northern Lebanon, a cluster of home-made tents in a muddy field is home for about 100 Syrian refugee families.

When stepping out of his front door meant facing a storm of gunfire, Marwan knew he had to leave.