UNHCR needs funds to help Syrian refugees

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A Syrian mother and her son, refugees in Lebanon (UNHCR photo)

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says it urgently needs funds to keep pace with the registration of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries.

The agency says it is aiming to register close to 3,000 Syrian refugees a day in Lebanon and Jordan alone, as the conflict continues.

UNHCR recently launched an ambitious plan to help the refugees at a cost of $1.1 billion.

Spokesperson Adrian Edwards has more.

"Today UNHCR is dramatically expanding its registration and assistance for Syrian refugees to keep pace with the numbers now crossing into neighbouring countries every day.  Less than a month into the Regional Refugee Response for 2013, we and our partners have launched programmes of registration, outreach and financial assistance which was envisaged in the Syria Regional Response Plan. So far we've received only 18 per cent of the funding for this plan. Unless funds do come quickly, thousands of Syrians will not benefit from urgently needed help." (31")

UNHCR says an analysis of the close to 280,000 Syrian refugees registered in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt reveals that over half of them are children, 39 per cent of whom are under the age of eleven.

It says close to 90 per cent of the refugees arrived in 2012.

The agency says that in the whole region there are now more than 660,000 Syrians who are either registered or being assisted pending registration.

Dianne Penn, United Nations.

Duration: 1'32"

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