U.N. Warns of Dire Rise in Refugees From Syria

Published on 28 February 2013

The top United Nations refugee official told the Security Council on Wednesday that the number of registered Syrians who had fled their homeland for safety elsewhere in the region could surpass one million by next month — much sooner than expected — and that the Syrian conflict threatens to overwhelm the international response. (..) “We are facing a moment of truth in Syria,” the official, António Guterres, the United Nations high commissioner for refugees, told the Council. “The humanitarian situation is dramatic beyond description. The refugee crisis is accelerating at a staggering pace.” The other speakers were Valerie Amos, under secretary general and emergency relief coordinator, and Zainab Hawa Bangura, a former health minister of Sierra Leone, appointed by Secretary General Ban Ki-moon last year as the United Nations’ special representative on sexual violence in conflict.

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