The number of refugees forced to flee fighting in Syria has reached 2 million people – half of whom are children - the United Nations has announced today.
The milestone means around 1 in 10 of Syria’s pre-war population have now fled the country. The UN’s refugee agency (UNHCR) estimates that an average of 5,000 Syrians are crossing its borders into neighbouring countries every day to seek safety.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:
It’s shocking that there are now 2 million Syrian refugees. The number has doubled in the last 6 months alone.
Neighbouring countries who have accepted these refugees have shown huge generosity but also shouldered huge burdens. Britain has given its largest ever response to a humanitarian crisis. The international community must follow this lead and provide the long term support needed for host countries to cope.
The UK is responding accordingly, with British support providing:
- food for over 285,000 people every month
- clean drinking water for almost 1 million people
- almost 300,000 medical consultations
- and over 300,000 relief items such as blankets and kitchen sets
Within Syria, more than 4 million people have had to flee their homes, while more than 100,000 people have been killed. Syria now has more displaced people than any other country with around a third of its population forced from their homes.
For full details of the UK’s Syria crisis humanitarian response, please see: Syria crisis: Latest updates on UK aid
For all news on how the UK government is responding to events in and around Syria, please visit: UK and Syria