• UN: Syria refugee crisis becoming world’s largest displacement

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    UNITED NATIONS: The Syria refugee crisis is fast becoming the world’s largest displacement, a UN spokesman told reporters here on Thursday.

    “Today, there are close to 3 million Syrian refugees, and the number of those seeking safe haven is increasing by 100,000 every month,” UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric quoted the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) as saying at a daily briefing here.

    Failing to provide enough humanitarian support for Syrian refugees by the end of 2014 could result in dramatic consequences for refugees and the stability of the entire region, including a serious security threat to Lebanon, according to UNHCR.

    The warning comes as the refugee agency prepares to formally present on Friday an updated 2014 Syria Regional Response Plan in Geneva, calling on donors to fund a USD 3.74-billon program across Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt.

    Meanwhile, “for Iraq, the agency says that the monthly refugee influx from Syria is lower than had been expected,” Dujarric noted.

    “As a result, UNHCR Iraq has revised its planning figures downward for refugee support for the remainder of this year,” he said, adding that UNHCR’s current planning projections are that 250,000 Syrians will be seeking humanitarian aid in Iraq at the end of 2014.

    According to UNHCR, so far in 2014, donors have contributed some USD 1.1 billion to the Syria Regional Response Plan, allowing the agency and its partners to meet many of the food, health, education and protection needs of refugees.

    However, this amount represents only 30 percent of the revised requirements against the new estimate of 3.6 million Syrian refugees in the region by the end of 2014. PNA

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