Arab Spring

Millions of Syrian Refugees Overwhelming Aid Efforts

Catastrophe in the making

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UN officials believe some four million people are now trapped inside Syria after fleeing the fighting, as the United States echoes calls for donors to step up and help in a burgeoning aid crisis.

The figure, due to be officially released in the coming days, is a dramatic rise on earlier estimates by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees of some 2.5 million displaced living in precarious conditions inside the country.

It also adds to the 1.2 million refugees who have streamed across borders into neighboring countries, placing a huge strain on governments in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon who have kept frontiers open.