Syria Refugees Could Double, Triple By 2014: UN

'Risk of an explosion' in their numbers, says Antonio Guterres

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 10, 2013 6:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – The U.N. chief for refugees says the number of refugees from Syria could increase by "two or three times" the present level by the end of the year if the country's conflict doesn't end. UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres says the international community should work toward ending the conflict and says there is a "risk of an explosion" throughout the already volatile Middle East region if it continues much longer. Guterres was speaking in Ankara today, days after the number of UN-registered refugees in neighboring countries topped 1 million. Guterres also renewed a call for nations to help support Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and other countries that shelter refugees.

In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 photo, a Syrian refugee washes laundry outside her tent, at Atmeh refugee camp, in the northern Syrian province of Idlib.
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 photo, a Syrian refugee washes laundry outside her tent, at Atmeh refugee camp, in the northern Syrian province of Idlib.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 photo, Syrian refugees carry a bucket of water as they walk at Atmeh refugee camp, in the northern province of Idlib, Syria.
In this Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013 photo, Syrian refugees carry a bucket of water as they walk at Atmeh refugee camp, in the northern province of Idlib, Syria.   (AP Photo/Hussein Malla)
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