The United Nations’ refugee agency warned Thursday that as many as 700,000 Syrians might be displaced to neighboring countries by the end of 2012.
The U.N. called on donors to give another $295 million in funding to help the 294,000 Syrian refugees who are currently registered or waiting to be registered in nearby countries. By contrast, in March the agency counted 41,500 Syrian refugees.
Each day, approximately 2,000 to 3,000 Syrians cross the border into nearby countries, the U.N. estimated, with three-quarters being women and children. Turkey has housed the majority of refugees from Syria, with close to 88,000 living in 13 camps.
“Many refugees are arriving with only the clothes on their backs,” Panos Moumtzis, the U.N. refugee agency’s regional coordinator, said in a statement. “Some have been displaced many times before leaving Syria. They need humanitarian assistance from day one.”
At the same time the U.N. is calling for more donations. A Syrian activist group has said that Wednesday was the deadliest day so far during the 18-month uprising.
The Local Coordination Committees said 343 Syrians were killed across the country, with nearly half the deaths reported in Damascus and its suburbs, amid fighting between regime forces and rebels.
The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also reported that more than 300 people were killed, and that Wednesday “marks the single bloodiest day” in the uprising that began March 2011.
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