Crisis without borders: Syrian refugees in 130 countries

Diana Estefanía Rubio

Crisis without borders: Syrian refugees in 130 countries

The ongoing conflict in Syria since 2011 has triggered the largest refugee and displacement crisis of our time. Syrian refugees have sought asylum in more than 130 countries, with the majority residing in neighbouring countries, according to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

More than 7.2 million Syrians remain internally displaced in their own country, where 90% live below the poverty line. Approximately 5.5 million Syrian refugees live in the five countries neighbouring Syria: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. The widespread displacement has led to a humanitarian crisis, with many people struggling to access life-saving essentials like food, water, and healthcare.

Turkey hosts the largest population, with 3.6 million Syrians living there. There are more than 2 million Syrian refugees living in informal tent settlements in Lebanon—more than 80% of which do not have residency, putting them at risk of deportation.

The additional economic and social burdens caused by the Syrian war, coupled with the tragic earthquake that devastated parts of Syria, led to the influx of more Syrians into Lebanon through illegal land crossings. It is, therefore, more difficult to distinguish between Syrians who sought asylum for political or security reasons and economic migrants.

For its part, Germany hosts the largest number in the West, with more than 850,000 Syrian refugees.

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