10 Facts that explain The Syrian Humanitarian Crisis.
(Sophie Collings, 5/2/15)
Angelina Jolie’s recent visit to meet Syrian refugees in Iraq, reminds us again of the huge global issue of refugees, asylum seekers and conflict.
The world is getting a glimpse of one of the biggest humanitarian crises in history, with the struggles of millions of Syrian people publicized briefly in our daily headlines. People will sympathize with the articles they read online, the videos they see on their timeline and the news coverage they watch on their televisions, until the next news piece is shown and the scenes they have seen and read about become a distant memory. The horrific images they have seen may stay etched in some people’s minds, but the stories, facts and figures are lost and forgotten. For this reason, here are 10 concise facts about Syria, the Syrian conflict and the humanitarian crisis that everyone should know and remember.
1. Syria is a country in the Middle East. The location of Syria means that the conflict not only impacts Syria but has a huge effect on its neighboring countries Lebanon, Israel, Jordan and Iraq of which Syria shares its border.
2. President Bashar al-Assad’s regime was contested sparking the violence in March 2011. By July, army defectors had loosely organized the Free Syrian Army and many civilian Syrians took up arms to join the opposition. Divisions between secular and Radical Islamic fighters, and between ethnic groups, continue to complicate the politics of the conflict.
3. Since its inception, the number of active fighters has grown from 1000 to an estimated 100,000. Secular moderates are now outnumbered by Radical Islamic and Jihad combatants, with people from across the world heading to Syria to join the fighting.
4. As of January 2015 an estimated 191,000 people have been killed in four years. This is more than double all US combat deaths in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
5. 7.6 million people have been displaced within Syria, more than 45 % of the country’s population.
6. Syrians are now the largest refugee population in the world. There are 3,725,658 registered Syrian refugees. 95% are in just five countries Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
7. Lebanon receives the highest amount of refugees from Syria. Every fifth person in Lebanon is a Syrian refugee.
8. Only 4% of Syrian refugees are in Europe.
9. More than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18.
10. The biggest refugee camp is in Jordan, Zaatari with over 83,994 refugees registered there.
Sophie Collings (4/2/2015)