Continued violence in civil war torn Syria could lead to as many as 700,000 Syrians fleeing to neighboring countries by the end of the year, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) said Thursday.
There are now 303,000 Syrian refugees living in neighboring countries, such as Jordan and Turkey, who have registered with the U.N. or are awaiting registration, a UNHCR spokeswoman told Lean Forward. The figure does not include Syrians displaced within their own country by the violence or migrant Syrian workers in neighboring countries.
As many as 3,000 are crossing over the border each day, the organization said. Half of that population lives in refugee camps.
Women and children comprise 75% of the refugee population, according to the U.N.
The organization warned of the growing humanitarian crisis in a donation appeal it issued with partners such as UNICEF and the World Food Programme. The groups said they will need nearly $500 million to address the crisis, especially with winter approaching and the number of refugees continuing to escalate.
Food, education, and health care are priorities in the organizations’ response plan, according to the appeal.