42,000 Syrian refugees cross into Iraq in a week

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Syrian refugees

The surge in the number of Syrians fleeing into Iraq is continuing, with the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR, saying that, since the 15th of August, nearly 42,000 people have crossed Syria's far northeast border into Iraq. Just yesterday, some 2,000 people passed through the Sahela border crossing alone.

Adrian Edwards, Spokesperson for UNHCR, says that aid agencies on the ground are doing everything they can to provide emergency shelter, food and other essential supplies to those who say they had no choice but to flee their home country.

"The new arrivals are speaking of the harsh conditions in Syria and a lack of basic services. Also very prominently mentioned are the attacks by armed groups, which appears to be still the main reason for flight."

UNHCR says that international support is needed now more than ever to meet the humanitarian needs of the people both inside Syria and across its borders.

"This has become one of the biggest humanitarian operations in history.

We have close to, as you know, 2 million refugees having come across the border. We have the situation inside Syria.

It remains a major crisis. We continue to appeal to all states for help in dealing with this crisis and for additional aid to support the humanitarian efforts which are now so essential."

Nicki Chadwick, UN Radio, Geneva.

Duration: 1’23″

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