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Syrian refugees continue to pour into Turkey
April 15, 2014, 6:25 pm

Officials at the Turkish Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD) said on Tuesday that the number of Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war to neighbouring Turkey now exceeds 900,000.

Fuat Oktay, president of AFAD, said that the Turkish government has spent about $2.5 billion on providing shelter, food, health care, security, social activities, education, worship, translation, banking and communication services to the refugees.

He added that nearly a quarter of the refugees live inside camps; there are about 21 refugee camps along the Syria-Turkey border.

The fierce fighting in Syria has created one of the greatest refugee crises in the world, displacing nearly nine million people, most of whom were internally displaced with the rest having  fled to neighbouring countries in the Middle East.

In early April, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says it was registering one Syrian refugee a minute in Lebanon. It says the total number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon has already surpassed one million located in more than 1,600 camps throughout the country.

On Tuesday, Lebanese authorities said they would begin limiting the number of Syrian refugees coming in, pending a reassessment of how many more the country can absorb.

Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk, who announced the new measures, said that Syrian refugees accounted for 27 per cent of Lebanon’s population.

In Jordan, the number of refugees has continued to increase reaching more than 600,000 in March 2014; in Iraq, the number is over 200,000 – most of whom are located in the Kurdish region.

There is also a sizable Syrian refugee population in Egypt and a number of EU countries.

In an exclusive interview with The Independent on Sunday, UNHCR Middle East chief Amin Awad,said that international donors had only fulfilled 20 per cent of the promised $6.5 billion earmarked for the Syrian refugee crisis.