UNHCR chief calls Syrian situation 'terrifying'

Half of population in need of aid by year's end

(ANSAmed) - GENEVA, APRIL 18 - If the fighting in Syria continues, by the end of the year the number of Syrians in need of aid may rise to almost 10 million, half the overall population, High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres warned the UN Security Council on Thursday. Over the past few weeks 400,000 refugees have fled Syria, Guterres said, bringing the total number of Syrian registered or waiting to be so to over 1.367 million. If the current trend continues, the number of Syrian refugees may rise to 3.5 million, while the number of people in need of aid within Syria's borders could rise to 6.5 million. ''These figures are terrifying,'' he said. ''I know that, as High Commissioner for Refugees, I should confine my remarks to the scope of my mandate,'' he added. ''But as a citizen of the world, I cannot refrain from asking: Isn't there any way to stop this fighting, to open the door for a political solution?'' Guterres launched an appeal to the international community to fund humanitarian aid to the victims of the Syrian conflict and support the countries hosting the refugees. (ANSAmed).

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