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Humanitarian agencies launch urgent appeal as Syrian refugee exodus grows

Syrian refugee children take shelter against the cold in Za'atri refugee camp (© B.Sokol / UNHCR)Syrian refugee children take shelter against the cold in Za'atri refugee camp
(© B.Sokol / UNHCR)

Over half a million refugees have now fled the escalating violence in Syria and around 3,000 new refugees are crossing the border into neighbouring countries every day. It is estimated that up to 1 million Syrian refugees will need help by the end of the first half of 2013.

The figures are deeply worrying; in Jordan, 60% of recent arrivals are under the age of 18. On one night, 22 new born infants crossed the border.

Freezing weather is threatening thousands of families; we are in a race against time.

"Every night we are getting children as young as four days old, six days old, one week, two weeks old, and it's a real struggle to try to make sure that everyone survives."

Mr Andrew Harper
UNHCR Representative in Jordan

UNHCR has helped thousands of refugees in recent weeks by providing blankets, sleeping mats, medical attention and a high energy meal. Furthermore, UNHCR has stepped up its efforts to prepare Syrian refugees staying in camps for the cold winter months ahead. View a photo gallery of UNHCR and its partner efforts to prepare for the winter.

It is estimated that there are hundreds of thousands more refugees in need of help. Unless more resources are found quickly, we will not be able to fully respond to the lifesaving needs of civilians who flee Syria every hour of the day – many in a truly desperate condition.

“We are constantly shocked by the horrific stories refugees tell us. Their lives are in turmoil. They have lost their homes and family members. By the time they reach the borders, they are exhausted, traumatised and with little or no resources to rely on.”

Mr Panos Moumtzis
UNHCR’s Regional Coordinator for Syrian Refugees

Find out more about the latest news and updates on the Syria emergency.

Just $10 can provide a freezing child with a fleece blanket to keep warm this winter, please donate today.

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The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR)

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