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Syria refugees need $1.5 billion in aid, United Nations says

UN says conflict will create 1 million refugees by mid-2013.

Syria conflict yarmouk un aid request 1219Enlarge
Palestinian children who fled the Syrian refugee camp of Yarmouk wait at the Lebanese border crossing with Syria on December 19, 2012. A large number of Palestinian refugees and others who fled the Damascus camp-suburb arrived at the crossing to flee the fighting in and around their district. (JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images)

The UN needs more than $1.5 billion to resolve Syria’s growing humanitarian crisis, officials said today.

To address needs within the country, the United Nations appealed for nearly $520 million while it needs an additional $1 billion to help the roughly 1 million Syrian refugees.

It’s the “largest short-term humanitarian appeal ever,” a UN statement issued today said, Reuters reported.

“Unless these funds come quickly we will not be able to fully respond to the lifesaving needs of civilians who flee Syria every hour of the day – many in a truly desperate condition,” UNHCR’s Panos Moumtzis told Reuters.

As many as 4 million people inside Syria will require UN help, the group said.

There are also 525,000 refugees registered now, but an estimated 1 million will flee the fighting by mid-2013.

Syrian refugees have spread to five countries, including Egypt for the first time, Reuters reported.

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“The violence in Syria is raging across the country. There are really no more safe areas where people can flee,” UN official Radhouane Nouicer told BBC from Geneva, Switzerland.

Other countries with refugees include Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq, BBC said.

As many as 3,000 arrive every day, the UN said, and roughly one-quarter of all Syrians require some help.

Since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, more than 40,000 people have died.

The fighting continues to rage near the capital, Damascus, and the mostly Palestinian Yarmouk refugee camp, according to The Associated Press.

Government forces are battling rebels in the capital’s suburbs after rebels advanced on significant targets last week.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/syria/121219/syria-refugees-aid-united-nations-billion-dollars