Five thousand refugees fleeing Syria every day: UNHCR

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Syrian refugees wait to be registered by UNHCR staff in Lebanon.© UNHCR/M.Abu Asaker

The number of Syrian's who are seeking a safe haven outside their country is so high that the situation is now a full on crisis, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR). The number of Syrian refugees currently stands at 787,000. Adrian Edwards, spokesperson for UNHCR, says that in the past month there's been a 25% increase in the numbers fleeing to neighboring countries.

"5,000 people are now crossing the borders of Syria into other countries every single day. So this is really a full-on crisis right at the moment." And while the number of people fleeing the country increases, the problems for those who have stayed behind are getting worse.

Marixie Mercado, spokesperson for the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), says that Syrian children are at an increased risk of disease because of the severe disruption of services, damaged water and sanitation systems and a lack of access to basic hygiene.

"Living conditions are unsanitary with too few toilets, showers and basic hygiene products like soap. In some shelters up to 70 people share a single toilet. Water is rationed, often in amounts of less than 10 litres per person per day."

By the end of June, UNICEF hopes to provide safe drinking and domestic water, soap and hygiene kits, and toilets and bathrooms to 750,000.

Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva.

Duration: 1’26″

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