The Straits Times
Published on Jan 18, 2013

More than half Syria refugees are children, says UN


NEW YORK (REUTERS) - More than half the 642,000 refugees who have sought refuge from the Syrian conflict in neighboring countries are children and the number of people fleeing could almost double by June, said a senior United Nations (UN) official on Thursday.

Mr Panos Moumtzis, the UN Refugee Agency regional coordinator for Syrian refugees, said plans were in place to help 4 million people in Syria - 2 million who had been displaced and 2 million who need help in their homes - and up to 1.1 million refugees.

"We're really talking about helping a quarter of the Syrian population. One in four Syrians is in need of humanitarian assistance and I'm afraid this number is deteriorating," Mr Moumtzis told the International Peace Institute in New York.

The UN hopes to raise US$1.5 billion (S$1.83 million) to fund Syria aid assistance at a donors conference in Kuwait on Jan 30.