In the news: Two million Syrian refugees

Jordan, Lebanon, Syria

September 3, 2013

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  • Newly arriving Syrian refugees line up at a Mercy Corps distribution of household supplies and clothing vouchers in Lebanon. The UN says there are now more than 2 million refugees throughout the region. Photo: Cassandra Nelson/Mercy Corps

A UN announcement today marks another tragic milestone in the ongoing Syria crisis: More than two million Syrians have become refugees from the escalating civil war.

"The war is now well into its third year and Syria is hemorrhaging women, children and men who cross borders with little more than the clothes on their backs," the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees said in the statement. "This trend is nothing less than alarming, representing a jump of almost 1.8 million people in 12 months."

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres continued, "The only solace is the humanity shown by the neighboring countries in welcoming and saving the lives of so many refugees."

And yet, the influx of refugees is straining the capacity of host countries to support all their needs. Today on CNN, Mercy Corps' Cassandra Nelson writes, "I see firsthand the tremendous burden the Syrian refugees are already placing on countries like Jordan, Trukey, Lebanon, and most recently Iraq. Their limited natural resources are being tapped, their economies are suffering and their own citizens are feeling the strain."

Read the entire article on CNN to learn more about what are teams are seeing and what the international community must do to help: Syrian refugee crisis creating long-term burden for neighbors ▸

How you can help

"Without the necessary funding to run desperately needed programs, I am seeing more and more Syrian families and children facing desperate conditions," writes Nelson. Your gift can help us provide more water, distribute clothing and household supplies, and expand our child protection work to reach more refugees in need of our support. Donate today ▸