Publisher: Xinhua News Agency
Story date: 11/12/2012
UNITED NATIONS, Dec. 11 (Xinhua) Syrian refugees have kept on the rise, with the number exceeding half a million, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
The information was disclosed by UN spokesman Martin Nesirky at a daily news briefing held here Tuesday.
Syria has been suffering from a long-standing crisis which broke out in March 2011, and has sent a large influx of refugees into its neighboring Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq.
"More than half a million Syrian refugees have now been registered or are awaiting registration in four surrounding countries and North Africa," said Nesirky, quoting statistics given by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).
"Since the beginning of November, the number of registered refugees region-wide has risen by about 3,200 a day, including both new arrivals from Syria and those who had already been in the asylum countries for some time but had not sought help through registration."
UNHCR predicted the number of those who come forward to register would go up as the conflict in Syria continues, resources were depleted and host countries and families could no longer support them.
"According to the agency, only about 40 percent of registered Syrian refugees across the region actually live in refugee camps," said the spokesman. "The majority live outside camps, often in rental housing, with host families, or in various types of collective centres and renovated accommodation."
"UNHCR is stepping up its outreach activities in the region to provide registration and to help those who need it," he said.
Last week, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon visited refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey to express his solidarity and to help highlight the need for more funding.
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