UN says number of Syrian refugees nears 4.5 million mark

UN Refugee Agency announces that number of registered Syrian refugees approaching 4.5 million worldwide as of December 10, 2015

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish coast guard rescue total of 60 Syrian refugees after their boat started to take on water en route to Greek island of Kos from Bodrum District of Turkey's Mugla on Dec. 9, 2015.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has announced that the number of registered Syrian refugees in the Middle East and northern Africa is approaching 4.5 million as of Dec. 10, 2015.

The exact number of refugees recorded by the UNHCR is 4,389,735.

Syrian refugees escaping the violence in their country fled Syria in large numbers following the escalation of the Syrian Civil War in 2012.

One of their most preferred destinations was neighbouring Turkey, which hosts the most Syrian refugees in the world according to the United Nations' registration records.

Turkey has spent more than $8 billion of its own money on the refugees, who number close to 2.3 million people in the country.

Lebanon follows Turkey with 1,070,189 refugees registered there. This means one out of seven people is a refugee in the country, which has a population of 6.5 million.

Jordan has 632,762 refugees and Egypt has 122,585 refugees, according to UNHCR numbers.

Turkey is a transit point for refugees aiming to reach European countries from Syria and Iraq because of its location bridging the Middle East and Europe.

Thousands of mostly Syrian refugees last summer marched towards western European countries using a route through Greece-Macedonia-Serbia-Hungary-Austria from east to west, triggering a huge refugee crisis in the continent.

In late November, Turkey and the European Union (EU) reached a deal confirming that the 28-nation bloc will provide 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) for Syrian refugees in Turkey.

TRTWorld and agencies