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Syrian Refugees Continue to Flee: Present and Future Reality

As war and conflict continue in Syria, the number of refugees climbs to troubling amounts. The United Nations reported that as of July 9th, 2015, over the past four years the number of Syrian refugees fleeing from the violence has exceeded 4 million.

With numbers on the rise and a cease of violence nowhere in sight, the United Nations is facing one of the worst crises of the past few decades.

The extreme number of people fleeing has placed a serious stress on neighboring countries. Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey are battling to accommodate refugees. The rate of unemployment is rising exceedingly fast, infrastructures and housing availability is becoming scare, and resources are being spread thin.

Currently, Turkey is experiencing the largest amount of Syrian refugees with over 1.8 million seeking safety there. Lebanon is hosting 1.17 million refugees, while Jordan has approximately 629,000. Some are traveling further distances to places such as Iraq and Egypt in an attempt to put some space between themselves and the violence.

The ever increasing numbers of Syrian refugees does not include the 270,000 asylum applications received by Europe.

With violent conflict and rapid refugee relocation, the United Nations has a predicament to handle that they have not seen since 1992 when the Afghanistan refugee population reached 4.6 million.

Handling the crisis within Syria is stressful enough, but the dispersion of problems among multiple countries is reason for excessive worry from the nation’s leaders and the United Nations.

For Syria alone, the conflict “has plunged 80 percent of its citizens into poverty, reduced life expectancy by 20 years, and lead to massive economic losses estimated at over $200 billion,” and is continuing to negatively drag the country down. With around three million Syrians losing their jobs, the unemployment rate has jumped from 14.9% in 2011 to a staggering 57.7% by the end of 2014.

These distressing facts amount to around 4 in 5 Syrians currently living in poverty, both in and out of the country.

The present is grim. The near future appears grim, as well. But, what will be happening several years from now? Sadly, aspects of life for Syrians may not be much improved, as there are more Syrians in poverty than out of it.

Education has collapsed in response to the war. The Guardian reported that “50.8 percent of school-age children no longer attend school” and has, so far, cost children three years of schooling.

Over 200,000 Syrians have been killed due to the civil war, 7.6 million are displaced inside Syria and over 4 million have fled the country. With poverty out of control, education in crumbles and a scattered, broken population the distant future for Syria does not appear much more hopeful unless proper aid is given.

The end of the war and its results are unattainable right now. Once the war and violence ceases, regardless of the outcome, a new set of problems will arise in the form of poor health and lack of healthcare, illiteracy, an under-educated generation, and a nation working to make itself functional.

Katherine Wyant

Sources: Channel 3000, BBC NEWS, The Guardian, UN News Centre