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UN refugee head applauds Turkey for hosting Syrians
Anadolu Agency, 06/01/2015
Speaking at the "Seventh Annual Ambassadors Conference", UN's top refugee official applauded Turkey's hospitality toward Syrian refugees. Turkey plays an extremely important role in the protection of refugees, the UN's top refugee official said Tuesday. Addressing the "Seventh Annual Ambassadors Conference" in Turkish capital Ankara, Antonio Guterres said: "It is essential to recognize that Turkey has experienced one of the largest refugee influxes in the world of the past few decades." Turkey has adopted an open-door policy for civilians fleeing from war in its conflict-ridden neighbors, Syria and Iraq. It has given refuge to at least 1.6 million Syrians since the beginning of the civil war in March 2011, according to UN figures. Ankara also spent more than $5 billion on refugees so far, according to the Turkish Finance Ministry. "This is to a large extent the result of your genero...
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Syria's neighbours need more help to cope with refugee crisis - U.N.
Reuters, 06/01/2015
ANKARA (Reuters) - Countries around the world must do more to help Syria's neighbours cope with the millions of people who have fled the civil war, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said on Tuesday. Over 3 million Syrians have arrived in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq during Syria's nearly four year war. Many now live in abject poverty as another winter bites. Lebanon, which has the highest per capita concentration of refugees, enforced new immigration controls along its Syrian border on Monday to try to stem the flow of people. Guterres said he was concerned about such policies but expressed sympathy for countries that are bearing the brunt of what he says is the worst refugee crisis since World War Two. "We are concerned with these measures but I think these measures should make the international community enhance in a very meaningful way support to host co...
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Turkey, UN sign agreement to assist Syrian refugees
Anadolu Agency, 07/01/2015
Officials said Turkey and UN refugee agency will cooperate to deliver 12 mobile clinics, 10 ambulances and 10 vaccination units. The Turkish Prime Ministry's Disaster and Emergency Management Presidency and UNHCR signed an agreement Tuesday to provide humanitarian services to needy Syrian refugees. Officials said Turkey and the UN refugee agency will cooperate to deliver 12 mobile clinics, 10 ambulances and 10 vaccination units. AFAD Director General Fuat Oktay said the Turkish government has delivered $5 billion worth of aid to Syrian refugees in Turkey. "The financial aid from the international community is $264 million," Oktay added. "$179 million of this aid came from the UN." Oktay also said there are currently more than 1.6 million Syrians hosted by Turkey and 227,000 of them are registered in camps around the country. UNHCR High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio ...
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Syria, Iraq source of 'new form of terror': UNHCR
Hurriyet Daily News, 08/01/2015
The escalated insurgent violence in Iraq and Syria hax triggered a new form of terror known as "lone wolf" attacks, the head of the UN refugee agency says, warning against the impact of crises in the region The tragedies in Syria and Iraq are the source of "a new form of terror", the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has told the Hurriyet Daily News, urging the international community to work harder to tackle the ongoing unrest in the region. "Now we have this new form of terror - 'lone wolves' was the expression I heard about them - people who anywhere in the world can go online and become fanaticized. They see [these websites] and start shooting around, so this became a threat to global peace and security," Antonio Guterres, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said in an interview on Jan. 6, just a day before the fatal attack against the Charlie Hebdo magazine ...
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Death at sea: Syrian migrants film their perilous voyage to Europe – video
The Guardian, 20/10/2014
This is the story of five friends – Moaaz, Majd, Rasha, Kinan and Khalid – who fled war-torn Syria to embark on a perilous trip to reach Europe. So far this year an estimated 3,000 migrants have died attempting this same journey. On 16 August 2014 they set off from Syria to Lebanon, where they caught a flight to Algeria, to begin their journey ...
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Governments at Geneva meeting agree to take in 100,000 Syrian refugees
UNHCR, 09/12/2014
GENEVA, December 9 (UNHCR) – Governments meeting in Geneva today pledged to increase the number of Syrian refugees they are accepting through resettlement and other humanitarian mechanisms. After today's pledges and indications of future commitments, UNHCR expects the total number of places for Syrian refugees available in the coming months to reach 100,000. This includes 62,000 places already made available by governments. "Syria has become the defining humanitarian challenge of our times, and it's important that the kind of offers of help that we've seen today keep coming in," said UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. "Providing refuge for vulnerable people fleeing war is of life-saving importance for the individuals affected, but it's also an important show of solidarity with countries of the region that are hosting millions of Syrians." UNHCR estimates that...
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UN: EU should overhaul policy on Syrian refugees
AP, 09/10/2014
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The U.N. refugee agency on Wednesday said it was urging the European Union to overhaul its policy toward Syrian refugees, warning the number of fatal accidents at sea could rise further as winter approaches. U.N. officials, presenting their proposals in Athens, said more than 3,000 asylum seekers had died trying to cross the Mediterranean this year. They urged the EU to provide ports for reception and to process asylum applications across member states. The U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR, also urged the 28-nation bloc to provide emergency financial assistance to Greece, Italy and Malta to deal with the soaring number of illegal sea crossings. "With the best will in the world, the number of people coming is too large for authorities to deal with," said Giorgos Tsarbopoulos, head of UNHCR's office in Greece. "There must be legal asylum options, with so-calle...
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Record 3,072 migrants killed crossing Mediterranean in 2014: IOM
The Express Tribune, 29/09/2014
GENEVA: More than 3,000 migrants have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far this year, more than double the previous peak in 2011, the International Organisation for Migration said Monday. Europe is by far the most dangerous destination for “irregular” migrants, the organisation found in a report, with 3,072, or 75 per cent, of the 4,077 registered migrant deaths worldwide since January happening in the Mediterranean. In the 216-page report titled “Fatal Journeys: migrant fatalities across land and sea“, IOM said more than 40,000 people had perished since 2000 while migrating — 22,000 of them while trying to reach Europe. “It’s time to do more than count the number of victims,” IOM chief William Lacy Swing said in a statement. “It’s time to engage the world to stop this violence against desperate migrants,” added Swing, whose agency is not part o...
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EU-bound migrants increasingly in danger and marooned
Euronews, 06/10/2014
Egypt is increasingly becoming a hub for illegal migration to Europe. This is Alexandria, one of the port cities of the Nile Delta. Many migrants and would-be migrants leave from this shore. They take fearful risks to cross the Mediterranean Sea. They’ve been driven by wars in Syria, Iraq and Darfur to desperation. The UN refugee agency says the number making the attempt, year-on-year, has doubled. Our correspondent went to speak with some who failed. They are kept in a processing centre in Alexandria. Amera Khalil, from Darfur, who was stopped at sea by Egyptian authorities two weeks ago with her four children, told us: “Nobody helped me in Darfur. Nobody stood by me there. So, I took my children and I came here. I submitted my papers to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights here in Egypt, and I went to their offices several times, but I did not get any help, not even news...
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UNHCR Lebanon head discusses critical aid to Lebanese communities in Mt Lebanon
UNHCR Lebanon, 03/10/2014
SIBLINE, Lebanon, 2 October 2014 (UNHCR) – UNHCR Representative in Lebanon Ninette Kelley today met with Sibline Mayor Mohammad Oubar to review progress on construction of a water reservoir, part of a massive project that will ensure regular water supply to more than 80,000 Lebanese residents and some 16,500 Syrian refugees living in Mount Lebanon. The project, which is part of a range of initiatives across Lebanon designed to support local communities, will see the construction of ten reservoirs across ten communities in Mt. Lebanon, beginning with Rmeileh, Sibline, Barja, Borjein, Chhim and Baasir. “UNHCR’s assistance is very important to Sibline”, Oubar said, “because it is actually benefiting both the Lebanese and the Syrians living in the area. It is important for us that UNHCR’s support and commitment continue”. “Lebanon today faces an unprecedented challenge ...
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