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U.N.: Syrian Refugee Crisis Is 'Biggest Humanitarian Emergency Of Our Era'

Posted: August 29, 2014

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The number of refugees from the Syrian civil war surpassed 3 million, the United Nations said. Almost half of all Syrians have been forced out of their homes.

A Syrian refugee child eats food which her mother collected from rubbish at Eminonu in Istanbul.

A Syrian refugee child eats food which her mother collected from rubbish at Eminonu in Istanbul. Bulent Kilic

The Syrian civil war has sparked "the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era."

That's according to António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, who added that while the world's response to the crisis has been "generous," it hasn't met the needs of refugees.

The U.N. agency released new numbers on Friday and the picture they paint is exceedingly grim. A few data points from the report:

-- The total number of Syrian refugees will surpass 3 million people since the conflict began in 2011.

-- Nearly half of all Syrians have been forced to abandon their homes.

-- One in eight Syrians have fled the country.

-- 6.5 million Syrians are displaced inside the country.

The situation is also growing more acute, according to the report. More than half of the refugees coming into Lebanon, for example, told the agency that they have moved at least once before. One in ten refugees in Lebanon say they have moved more than three times.

The U.N. also released a report on Thursday that assessed the conflict. As we reported, it found that both sides were indiscriminately killing and torturing civilians.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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