The United Nations and its partners are seeking donations of more than $1.5 billion to aid Syrians inside and outside the battered country over the next six months as the chill of winter descends, the biggest appeal it has ever launched for such a crisis.
The U.N. has sought more aid for Syria as the fighting between government and opposition forces has continued. Four million people are estimated to need help in Syria, four times as many as in March. At least 525,000 Syrians have registered or are being assisted as refugees, seven times as many as in May, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
Ramping up pleas for aid so often is “highly unusual,” Radhouane Nouicer, U.N. regional humanitarian coordinator for Syria, said in a statement Wednesday. “The magnitude of this crisis is indisputable.”
The bulk of the money -- $1 billion – is being sought to aid Syrian refugees, who are continuing to pour out of the country at a rate of 2,000 to 3,000 people daily. About half of the Syrians now huddled in refugee camps are children, UNICEF has estimated.
By the middle of next year, the number of refugees is expected to soar higher, leaving a million people in need. Even after they have fled the violence of Syria, refugees suffer new hardships as they try to survive with scarce resources and scant jobs.