Syria refugees pass 4 million mark, says UNHCR

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Syrian refugees in Turkey, which hosts the greatest number of people displaced by the conflict. Photo: Photo: UNHCR

More than four million Syrians have fled war and persecution and are now refugees in neighbouring countries, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said Thursday.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres described the development as the worst crisis his agency had faced in nearly 25 years.

An additional 7.6 million people are also displaced inside Syria, UNHCR said, amid worsening conditions and abject poverty.

Daniel Johnson has more.

Four million and thirteen thousand…that's the total number of refugees who've now fled Syria, according to UNHCR.

Barely 10 months ago the total was three million.

The refugee agency, which made the announcement on Thursday, sounded the alarm after Turkey released updated data on the number of Syrians flooding into the country.

In a statement, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said his agency hadn't seen such a crisis in almost a quarter of a century.

He was referring to 1992, when refugees from Afghanistan reached 4.6 million.

The UN Refugee Agency chief said that the world's "biggest refugee population from a single conflict in a generation" deserved international support; instead, he said, people are "living in dire conditions and sinking deeper into abject poverty”.

Turkey hosts the greatest number of Syrian refugees, followed by Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and north African countries.

Inside Syria an additional 7.6 million people remain displaced, many of them in difficult circumstances and in hard-to-reach areas.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration: 1’05″

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