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Statement by Kristalina Georgieva on latest figure of refugees fleeing from the Syrian crisis

EU News 385/2013

Brussels, 3 September 2013

"Today it was confirmed that the number of refugees who have fled from the war in Syria into neighbouring countries has reached the appalling milestone of two million. More than half of all those refugees are children.

The number has doubled in the short period from 16th March 2013, and has now reached this tragic figure. Trying to visualise what this means, just think of four times the number of citizens of Manchester or Lyon or just over the population of Warsaw.

Then imagine also what this sudden movement of a city-sized population means in terms of the increased pressure on resources such as education, health and security for the countries hosting the refugees.

Most of those who have had to flee Syria are concentrated in four countries; Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq. It is a tragedy for those who have been forced from their homes. And it also means tremendous sacrifice for their generous hosts who are facing many challenges to their own stability as a result of the exodus from Syria.

Tragic and cruel as it is, the truth is that with violence becoming ever more ferocious, brutal and inhumane, the tide of refugees is bound to continue to rise. And increasingly the civilian population is at the eye of the target.

Once again, I call for the fighting to cease and for a political solution to be found urgently. Until that time – and it may be further from our reach than ever before - I reiterate my plea to all parties to abide by International Humanitarian Law and to protect civilians and those helping them to survive".

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