Group calls on world community to support Syrian refugees

Jan. 18, 2014 at 4:27 PM

DAMASCUS, Syria, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- Five Mideast countries and the United Nations called on nations to do more to support the 2.3 million Syrian refugees who have fled the country's civil war.

Representatives from five countries in the region, which are hosting the vast majority of refugees, met Friday along with the U.N. Human Rights Council at a refugee camp in Turkey, and called on the international community to pledge money and material support for the world's worst refugee crisis in 20 years.

Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt, along with UNHRC, called on the warring sides to find a political solution to the nearly three-year conflict.

"It is clear that there can be no military solution to the conflict. The solution must be political," the group said. "We therefore appeal to all parties to the conflict to put their differences aside and come together for the Geneva II conference on [Wednesday] where some real steps must be taken towards finding a political solution and putting an end to the fighting."

The United Nations noted a recent conference held in Kuwait City on the crisis, during which nations pledged $2.4 billion to support the refugees.

There are an estimated 869,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon, 600,000 in Jordan, 582,000 in Turkey, 213,000 in Iraq and over 132,000 in Egypt, though officials said the numbers are likely far higher. Including those displaced within the country, the total number of displaced people due to the conflict is estimated at 6.5 million.

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