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5.5 million children impacted by Syria conflict

The UN said Tuesday the number of children impacted by Syria's war has doubled in the past year to 5.5 million, many of them trapped in besieged areas and beyond reach. In a report entitled "Under Siege -- the devastating impact on children of three years of conflict in Syria," the UN children's agency UNICEF warns that the situation was likely to get worse.

Influx of asylum-seekers strains German shelters

Germany has attracted more political asylum seekers than any other EU nation, but now the massive influx is straining the system, with crowded Berlin shelters sounding the alarm. Arrivals, mainly from eastern Europe, jumped by almost two-thirds in 2013 to the highest level in 14 years, even though most applicants have little chance of being accepted as political refugees. In one residential home on the outskirts of the sprawling German capital, a family of six from Bosnia-Hercegovina now share a spartan room of just 25 square metres (270 square feet).

Influx of asylum-seekers strains German shelters

Germany has attracted more political asylum seekers than any other EU nation, but now the massive influx is straining the system, with crowded Berlin shelters sounding the alarm. Arrivals, mainly from eastern Europe, jumped by almost two-thirds in 2013 to the highest level in 14 years, even though most applicants have little chance of being accepted as political refugees. In one residential home on the outskirts of the sprawling German capital, a family of six from Bosnia-Hercegovina now share a spartan room of just 25 square metres (270 square feet).

Don't forget Mali's refugees, aid groups urge

Mali's conflict and the ensuing flood of refugees must not be forgotten amid the multiplication of global crises, the UN's refugee agency and the World Food Programme insisted Tuesday. In a joint statement, the two aid bodies said that funds are "urgently needed to continue providing vital assistance to Malian refugees".

Syrians set to replace Afghans as largest refugee population: U.N.

By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Syrians are about to replace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population, fleeing a conflict where barrel bombs leave bodies in pieces and a generation of children are physically and emotionally scarred, top U.N. officials said on Tuesday.

Syria refugee children in Lebanon risk starvation

Nearly 2,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are in danger of starving to death if they do not receive immediate treatment, UNICEF said Tuesday, warning of a looming malnutrition crisis. "Malnutrition is a new, silent threat among refugees in Lebanon," said Annamaria Laurini, the UN children agency's representative in Beirut. The problem is linked to "poor hygiene, unsafe drinking water, diseases, lack of immunisation and improper feeding practices of young children," she said.

5 years ago, Syria was world's second-largest refugee host. Now, it's set to be the world's biggest source of refugees

Syrians fleeing the civil war in their homeland are about to displace Afghans as the world's largest refugee population, the United Nations said Tuesday. Briefing the General Assembly by video link, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres painted a devastating picture of the humanitarian crisis as a result of the three-year conflict. He said nearly 2.5 million Syrians have now registered as refugees with UNHCR in neighboring countries in the Middle East.

Syria refugee children in Lebanon risk starvation

Nearly 2,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon are in danger of starving to death if they do not receive immediate treatment, UNICEF said Tuesday, warning of a looming malnutrition crisis. "Malnutrition is a new, silent threat among refugees in Lebanon," said Annamaria Laurini, the UN children's agency UNICEF's representative in Beirut. The problem is linked to "poor hygiene, unsafe drinking water, diseases, lack of immunisation and improper feeding practices of young children," she said.

Over 15,000 C.Africa civilians at risk of attack

Thousands of civilians in conflict-torn Central African Republic are at imminent risk of attack, the UN refugee agency warned Tuesday, calling for heightened security and more international troops. More than 15,000 people, most of them Muslim, "are at present surrounded and under threat by armed groups," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters. He stressed that civilians in 18 locations in the northwest and southwest of the impoverished African country were "at very high risk of attack and urgently need better security" and more international troops on the ground.

Over 15,000 C.Africa civilians at risk of attack

Thousands of civilians in conflict-torn Central African Republic are at imminent risk of attack, the UN refugee agency warned Tuesday, calling for heightened security and more international troops. More than 15,000 people in 18 locations in the northwest and southwest of the impoverished African country "are at present surrounded and under threat by armed groups," UNHCR spokesman Adrian Edwards told reporters. He stressed that minority Muslim civilians were "at very high risk of attack and urgently need better security" and more international troops on the ground.
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