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Number Of Syrian Refugees Tops 1M; U.N. Says More Assistance Needed

“The relentless exodus of Syrians fleeing two years of increasingly violent conflict pushed the number of refugees in neighboring countries past the million mark on Wednesday, the United Nations Refugee Agency said, warning that resources for helping them are dangerously thin,” the New York Times reports (Cumming-Bruce, 3/6). “We are doing everything we can to help, but the international humanitarian response capacity is dangerously stretched. This tragedy has to be stopped,” U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said in a press release, according to the U.N. News Centre (3/6). “He underlined the impact of the numbers, with Lebanon’s population having increased by as much as 10 percent and Jordan’s energy, water, health and education services being strained to the limit,” Al Jazeera notes (3/7). “The United Nations said it has received only around 20 percent of the $1.5 billion it requested in December to cover relief efforts for around four million people in desperate need of aid inside Syria as well as the million who are now outside during the first half of 2013. The number of refugees has accelerated faster than projected in that appeal,” according to the New York Times (3/6).