UNITED NATIONS - More than 40,000 people a week are fleeing war-torn Syria and the total number of refugees will likely pass 1 million in less than a month, a senior UN official told the Security Council on Wednesday.
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said the UN agency as of Tuesday had registered 936,000 Syrians across the Middle East and North Africa, nearly 30 times as many people as April last year.
"We expected to have 1.1 million Syrian refugees by June. If things continue to accelerate like this, it will take less than a month to reach that number. Just last night, and just into Jordan, 4,585 fled the country," he told the 15-member council.
"The refugee numbers are staggering, but they cannot convey the full extent of the tragedy. Three-quarters of the refugees are women and children. Many of them have lost family members. Most of them have lost everything," he said.
Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt have been flooded with the bulk of the refugees.