It has been six years since the outbreak of civil war in Syria that has resulted in a reported 470,000 Syrian deaths. The war began with anti-government demonstrations and escalated into armed opposition groups fighting the government after a violent crackdown on the protests. The ongoing threat of the civil war has caused 11 million Syrians to flee so far. Here are 10 facts about Syrian refugees:
- Of the 11 million people displaced by the conflict in Syria, five million Syrians are refugees. This means that the other 6.3 million are displaced within Syria.
- Four out of five Syrian refugees are children.
- In just over a year after the civil uprising began, 500,000 Syrian refugees had left their homes.
- Many Syrian refugees remain in the Middle East. They reside in countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt, although an estimated 10% have relocated to Europe.
- Many Syrians who fled into Northern Iraq are now trapped inside Iraq’s internal conflict. Because of the pre-existing conflict, Iraq struggles to meet the needs of the Syrian refugees.
- In order to flee, many Syrian refugees attempt to cross the Mediterranean Sea. Not all of them make it across alive.
- In January 2016, a reported 2,647 refugees fled to the United States, amounting to roughly 0.06% of the total refugee population.
- Around 40,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Canada.
- Nearly the entire population of Syria lives in poverty, with about 70% lacking access to clean drinking water.
- In 2016, the U.N. declared that $4.5 billion was required in order to meet the urgent needs of Syrians, yet only $2.9 billion was actually received.
These 10 facts about Syrian refugees illustrate the always-escalating nature of the crisis, showing that aid is needed more than ever before.
– Danyel Harrigan