14 January 2013 The total number of Syrians seeking refuge in camps in Turkey from the ever-worsening violence of their country’s civil war has risen to over 153,300 persons, the United Nations refugee agency reported today.
“This is about a 3 per cent increase since the year-end figures of 2012,” the Office of the High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) said in a situation report that cites Turkish Government figures that show that 153,307 persons were currently registered in 14 camps in seven provinces of the country.
During the past two weeks 3,266 Syrians were admitted to Turkey from the borders while 1,560 Syrians have returned to Syria voluntarily, according to the report, which also provides updates on educational and health services provided to the refugees.
More than 60,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Syria and hundreds of thousands more have been displaced since the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad began in early 2011. Recent months have witnessed an escalation in the conflict, which is now in its 23rd month.
Last week, UNHCR said it was putting in place measures to help Syrian refugees, which total more than 600,000 in all neighbouring countries, to weather harsh winter conditions.
According to today’s report, despite heavy snowfall in Turkey’s Adiyaman and Gaziantep provinces, UNHCR Field Teams managed to reach the camps and observed that Government officials made every effort to keep the roads to the camps open.
It adds that shortage of space in camps continues to be the main challenge for local authorities. The Nizip-2 camp, a container site with a 5,000-person capacity, is expected to open soon, it said.
News Tracker: past stories on this issue