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Inside Syria
How serious is the Syrian refugee crisis?
As an increasing number of Syrians flee their country, we ask if the host countries can handle the sudden influx.
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2012 13:00

As Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces step up their battle with opposition rebels, without much regard for civilian casualties, the number of people fleeing Syria has grown sharply in recent days.

This has raised the alarm on a deepening humanitarian crisis.

Jordan, which is one of Syria's neighbours and a small country itself, now has the biggest number of Syrian refugees and the fastest growing refugee camp as about 1,000 Syrians are crossing the border into Jordan every day.

"It is very serious, 100,000 ... fled in the month of August alone so the numbers have just spiralled. And these are people coming across in very very vulnerable situations, some of them injured, all of them traumatised. [It is] very very difficult for the receiving countries to take such a huge sudden influx and accomodate them. So they are doing the best they can but they need a lot of help."

- Melissa Fleming, chief spokesperson for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

On Thursday, Fayez Tarawaneh, the Jordanian prime minister, said the growing influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan exceeds what the country can handle.

Meanwhile in Turkey, which had said it would not accept more than 100,000 refugees, officials have now revised the number to 120,000 and they are preparing contingency plans for more.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says the situation is precarious, with aid agencies struggling to prepare camps and distribute resources.

And in just a matter of weeks, the temperature will drop and the winter will make the situation even worse.

According to UNHCR, a total of 246,267 Syrians have now fled their homeland, of which 81, 456 refugees are now in Jordan, including 33,142 awaiting registration.

Another 78,500 people have fled to Turkey, UNHCR says all of them are now registered and assisted.

And there are around 64,636 refugees in Lebanon, including 18,459 awaiting registration. Moreover, around 21,744 refugees crossed into Iraq, of which 1,841 are still awaiting registration.

Al Jazeera's correspondent Jane Arraf, reported from the Jordanian-Syrian border: "A lot of refugees are too afraid of Syrian security forces to travel in daylight. they set out in the dark, going through back roads and farmlands, some of them walking for days."

To discuss the crisis, Inside Syria, with presenter James Bays, is joined by guests: Melissa Fleming, chief spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; and Adnan Hayajneh, a professor of political science at the Hashemite University.

"The numbers are beyond our capabilities, beyond even our expectations and we expect more as things deteriorate in Syria. We are shouldering a big burden in so many fields, especially water."

Fayez Tarawaneh, the Jordanian Prime Minister

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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