Syrian Refugee Crisis now more serious than Rwanda in 1994
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has warned Tuesday that about 6,000 people flee each day from Syria to escape the civil war that began more than two years, an unprecedented flow recorded since the genocide in Rwanda in 1994, which resulted in 800,000 deaths.
Currently, the United Nations agency has registered about 1.8 million Syrian refugees, mainly in Lebanon (600,000), Iraq (160,000), Egypt (90,000), Turkey and Jordan. Two thirds of these refugees have fled their country since the beginning of the year.
The head of UNHCR, Antonio Guterres, has described the data as “chilling”, when compared with the numbers “from the Rwandan genocide 20 years ago.”
He has also appeared before the Council of the Deputy Secretary General of United Nations for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, which has estimated at 92 901 the number of people killed in Syria due to the conflict. Over 6,500 of these victims were children.
For its part, the Assistant Secretary for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, said “the security, economic, political, social, developmental and humanitarian consequences are extremely serious and their impact is one of enormous concern”. Amos has warned of the long-term consequences for “future generations”.
She has also indicated that 6.8 million Syrians need urgent humanitarian assistance, including more than 4.2 million IDPs. Recent studies of the World Food Programme estimated at 4 million people the number of Syrians in need of food.
In the present context, the head of UN Humanitarian Affairs has claimed another 3,100 million dollars (2,300 million euros) to cover the humanitarian needs of Syrian civilians and neighboring countries for the remainder of the year.
In response to these complaints and questions from most of the international community, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, Bashar Jaafari, has alleged that his government does “everything it can” to assume its “responsibility” with the population and to meet the “basic needs”.