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Syria Refugee Crisis Worsens as Four Million Flee Overseas: UNHCR

Half of all Syrians have now been displaced by the country’s civil war, including four million living as refugees overseas, according to UNHCR.
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Half of all Syrians now have been displaced by the country’s civil war — including four million who have fled overseas as refugees, according to figures released Thursday by the U.N. refugee agency.

The exodus from Syria is now the largest recorded since 1992 when the number of refugees from Afghanistan hit 4.6 million, it said.

"This is the biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in a statement.

Latest figures from UNHCR put the total number of refugees from Syria at just over 4,013,000 — greater than the population of Los Angeles.

UNHCR said that an additional 7.6 million people are displaced inside Syria, bringing the total number to 11.6 million — 50 percent of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million.

"Worsening conditions are driving growing numbers towards Europe and further afield, but the overwhelming majority remain in the region," Guterres added. "We cannot afford to let them and the communities hosting them slide further into desperation."

UNHCR said the figures were based on new arrivals in Turkey and updated data from the authorities on refugees already in that country.

There are now 1,805,255 Syrian refugees in Turkey, 249,726 in Iraq, 629,128 in Jordan, 132,375 in Egypt, 1,172,753 in Lebanon, and 24,055 elsewhere in North Africa.

Turkey is now the biggest host of refugees in the world. In June alone, according to UNHCR, more than 24,000 people arrived from northern Syria amid fighting between ISIS and Kurdish militants.