Syria refugee crisis overwhelms international response capacity

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Members of a Syrian refugee family in their rented home in the southern Lebanese town of Abbasieh. Photo: UNHCR/B.Hansford

The Syria refugee crisis has overwhelmed the capacity of the international community to respond, according to the head of the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

There are presently 3.8 million refugees registered in places like Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey.

Host communities are overstretched and international support cannot keep up with the magnitude of the needs.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres warned members of the Security Council that Syrians were now the largest refugee group in the world.

A recent survey of 40,000 refugees in Jordan found that two-thirds were living below the poverty line.

After years in exile, Mr Guterres explained, refugees' resources are long depleted and their living conditions are drastically deteriorating.

"Syrians are now the largest refugee population under the UNHCR mandate. As their number keeps growing and they become more vulnerable. The serious repercussions this has across the region only highlight the obvious-the urgent need for the international community to bring together all key actors and put an end to the conflict in Syria. There are no winners in this war, everyone is losing. But the highest price is paid by the refugees and the other innocent victims inside the countries."

The conflict is now approaching its fifth year and has engulfed the entire Middle East.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 1’05″

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