Over 100, 000 Civilians Fled Syria Last Month

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As turmoil continues to engulf Syria, more than 100,000 people sought asylum in countries neighbouring the war-torn country last month.

Reports say more than 103,400 Syrians fled to neighboring countries in August.

According to UNHCR spokesperson, Melissa Fleming the figures include Iraqi refugees who had previously fled to Syria and are now returning to their homeland by the thousands.

35,000 people reportedly returned to Iraq in July and August alone.

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Syrian refugees in Lebanon living in cramped quarters (6 August 2012).

“Most tell us they are leaving because of general insecurity, although some have reported direct threats.” -Ms. Fleming

Ms. Fleming said UNHCR and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent continue to expand operations to support Syrians displaced both internally and abroad.

Recently, the UN agency has launched a programme of financial assistance, with 730 vulnerable families receiving cheques as part of a scheme to help some 35,000 families in the coming months.

In Iraq, authorities in the Kurdistan region had put up a second refugee camp that will mainly accommodate Syrian Kurds.

UNHCR is also assisting Iraqi returnees with household items and will soon start a small cash assistance programme for the most vulnerable returnee families.

In Jordan, into which refugees continue to flow at a rate of about 1,000 a day, the Government.

Ms. Fleming said that the first batch of 56 trucks carrying 13,000 tents and relief items, such as blankets, jerry cans and kitchen sets, for a total 150,000 people, arrived in Jordan from Dubai over the weekend to augment local supplies.

In Lebanon, there are now more than 59,000 Syrians registered or awaiting registration with the UN refugee agency.

Ms. Fleming reports that the UNHCR is opening a mobile registration centre in the eastern Bekaa Valley.

Neabwhile, Turkey is now hosting some 80,410 Syrian refugees, according to the Government.

Ms. Fleming said around 8,000 people waiting to cross and receiving assistance, while being admitted at the rate of hundreds per day.

Ms. Fleming added that the Turkish Government continues to transfer Syrian refugees to the new camp in Karkamis, with over 4,000 people already transferred in recent days. Another new camp opened yesterday in Kahramanmaras.

The spokesperson noted that the Turkish Government continues to assure UNHCR that it will keep its borders open to Syrians seeking asylum.

The turmoil in Syria is forcing more and more people from their homes, with 30,000 people believed to have fled Syria into neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq over the past week alone.

With growing influx of civilians fleeing from conflict, humanitarian situation in Syria continues to deteriorate.

Reports say up to 1.5 million Syrians are in need of assistance.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that civilians attempting to flee from fighting need urgent assistance and protection.

OCHA reported that aid agencies continue to face significant access constraints to reaching people in need.

In addition, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said that it needs additional funds of around $14 million for its response to the crisis in Syria. Along with its partners, UNICEF is providing assistance to Syrian children in need in areas such as health, nutrition, education and child protection.

UN estimates that there are over 1 million Syrians inside Syria in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Of that number, it’s an estimated 300,000 internally displaced.

There are over 66,000 refugees in neighboring countries and there are existing refugees, Palestinian refugees, totaling about 500,000 inside Syria as well as a hundred thousand Iraqi refugees inside Syria.

In terms of funding, the United States has dedicated some $33 million to support the important work to assist and protect those in need in Syria and neighboring countries, and much more is on the way.

US pproach is to work through international and nongovernmental organizations.

The ongoing conflict in Syria has created a severe and growing humanitarian crisis.

Aid workers in Syria are putting their lives in jeopardy every day to get this relief to vulnerable children, women, and men caught in this crisis.

To help meet the growing needs of the suffering, the United States is providing food, clean water, basic healthcare, medical and other emergency relief supplies to benefit more than 400,000 people in Syria and neighboring countries so far.

One of US largest emergency partners right now is the World Food Program, which has been helping to reach a hundred thousand people per month in some of the most conflict-affected cities and zones since this conflict began.

World Food Program, WFP, is being distributed in coordination with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent. So far, they’ve reached 11 of the 14 provinces in Syria.

With support from the United States and other donors, WFP has expanded its emergency food assistance to reach now 250,000 conflict-affected Syrians.

The violence in Syria, which began in March 2011 as a protest movement similar to those witnessed across the Middle East and North Africa, has claimed over 18,000 lives, mostly civilians, and displaced tens of thousands.

Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn’t preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.