As Syrian conflict mounts, refugee numbers likely to exceed UN estimates

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

As the bitter battle for Damascus intensifies and further engulfs the region, ACT Alliance expects that even more than 1.1 million Syrians will seek safety in neighbouring countries before June 1 this year – thereby surpassing the latest United Nations estimates.

Nearly 700,000 Syrians have already fled across the border. These refugee numbers come on top of an additional four million people still living inside Syria who need assistance, two million of whom have been displaced from their homes.

“With 3,000 refugees reportedly crossing the border every day, we're struggling to keep pace with the growing needs on the ground and anticipate that refugee flows will probably surpass even UN predictions – this means that the funding just isn’t adequate given the circumstances, which are evolving so quickly from one day to the next,” says John Nduna, ACT’s General Secretary.

The alliance’s humanitarian efforts have included the provision of: food; hygiene kits; clothing and other items for infants; shelter and household items, including stoves, bedding and rental assistance; and educational and psychosocial support, according to the latest in-depth report on ACT activities.

To date ACT has assisted approximately 400,000 internally displaced Syrians and refugees in Lebanon and Jordan – and now most recently in Armenia – in close collaboration with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and national governments since fighting first broke out nearly two years ago.

ACT has requested US$9.8 million to carry out its humanitarian efforts in Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, and has so far received about half that amount. ACT has also recently launched a new effort to assist 2,500 Syrian refugees in Armenia for another US$200,000.

Referring to ACT’s latest appeal for refugees in Armenia, Nduna says, “The conflict in Syria is taking an increasingly heavy toll on the entire region. ACT will continue to work closely with regional governments and UN agencies to help mitigate the mounting human suffering both inside Syria and across its borders.”

Read the ACT Alliance Appeals for assistance to Syrians affected by the conflict in Syria, Jordan and Lebanon here and in Armenia here.