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UN: Syrian exodus worsening, 5,000 flee each day

ByREUTERS
February 8, 2013 14:33

Assad's forces try to beat back rebels edging into Damascus; UNHCR says some 5,000 refugees escaping Syria everyday.

Syrian refugees in Turkey

Syrian refugees in Turkey 370. (photo credit:REUTERS/Osman Orsal)

About 5,000 refugees are fleeing Syria each day, seeking safe haven in neighboring countries, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.

"This is a full-on crisis," Adrian Edwards, spokesman of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a news briefing in Geneva. "There was a huge increase in January alone, we're talking about a 25 percent increase in registered refugee numbers over a single month."



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Since the conflict began two years ago, more than 787,000 Syrians have registered as refugees or are awaiting processing in the region, mainly Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, he said.



In Syria, water shortages are worsening and supplies are sometimes contaminated, putting children at an increased risk of diseases, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday.

The agency's first nationwide assessment revealed that water supplies in areas affected by the conflict are one-third of pre-crisis levels, UNICEF said in a statement.

"It points to a severe disruption of services, damage done to water and sanitation systems, and limited access to basic hygiene, all of which puts children at much greater risk of disease," UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told the briefing.

Assad's forces try to beat back rebels edging into Damascus


About 5,000 refugees are fleeing Syria each day, seeking safe haven in neighboring countries, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday.

"This is a full-on crisis," Adrian Edwards, spokesman of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) told a news briefing in Geneva. "There was a huge increase in January alone, we're talking about a 25 percent increase in registered refugee numbers over a single month."



Since the conflict began two years ago, more than 787,000 Syrians have registered as refugees or are awaiting processing in the region, mainly Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, he said.

In Syria, water shortages are worsening and supplies are sometimes contaminated, putting children at an increased risk of diseases, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) warned on Friday.

The agency's first nationwide assessment revealed that water supplies in areas affected by the conflict are one-third of pre-crisis levels, UNICEF said in a statement.

"It points to a severe disruption of services, damage done to water and sanitation systems, and limited access to basic hygiene, all of which puts children at much greater risk of disease," UNICEF spokeswoman Marixie Mercado told the briefing.

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