Syrian refugees face grave risks as funding dries up

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Hundreds of refugees from Syria cross the border into Jordan, receiving food and water before being transported to processing centres. UNHCR/J.Kohler

The humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees is likely to worsen in the coming months as aid agencies struggle to raise enough funds to meet growing needs according to the UN Refugee agency UNHCR.

The agency says the number of refugees from Syria in the region is projected to reach 3.6 million by the end of the year.

UNHCR says donors have so far contributed some $ 1.1 billion to the Syrian regional response plan, leaving a funding gap of over $ 3.7 billion.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres says failing to provide enough humanitarian support for Syrian refugees by the end of 2014 could result in dramatic consequences for refugees and the stability of the entire region, including a serious security threat to Lebanon.

Mr Guterres says lack of support could increase the risk of violence against women and children, exploitation and abuse of vulnerable people while reduced food rations could lead to increased malnutrition rates.

He says the quality of education for the over 350,000 Syrian children could be jeopardized.

Refugees could have limited access to health care services and vulnerable children and families could contract water borne and other communicable diseases due to poor hygiene and lack of access to clean water.

At present there are 2.9 million Syrian refugees registered in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt, with numbers growing at a rate of 100,000 people every month.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1.30″

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