Nearly four million Syrian refugees registered in Turkey: UNHCR
June 6, Ankara: Almost 4 million Syrian refugees have been registered in Turkey, the the highest number located in the country, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said.
With the conflict in Syria now in its fifth year, 7.6 million people have been internally displaced, 3.98 million people have fled the country and thousands more are waiting to be registered as refugees, the UN says. More than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18.
Activists say the number of refugees fleeing into neighbouring countries has increased as the fighting in Syria intensified over the past few months, particularly after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) captured Syria’s historic city of Palmyra last month and advanced on the northeastern province of Hasakah.
The UN predicts that by the end of 2015, up to 4.27 millions refugees could be registered – making it the largest exodus of a country’s citizens since the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago.
UNHCR spokesperson Melissa Fleming told Al Jazeera that it has been very difficult to cope with such high numbers of refugees, because of a lack of funding.
“In 2014, we received only 54 percent of the funding requested for refugees, which means we covered just over half of the needs,” Fleming said.
“Meanwhile, refugees and displaced Syrians have exhausted their savings and increasing numbers are resorting to begging, child labour, even prostitution to make ends meet.
“More than 2.3 million children inside Syria are not in school. Among refugees, the numbers are even worse: with nearly half of children not receiving an education,” she said.
The Oslo Times