GENEVA - Agence Frence-Presse
Jordanian Gendarmerie officer (R) looks on before United Nations (U.N.) Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's arrival to visit a U.N.-run school in Al Zaatri refugee camp, in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria December 7, 2012. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed
The number of Syrian refugees registered in neighbouring countries and North Africa has passed half a million, the UN's refugee body said Tuesday, adding that many more have not come forward to seek help.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees said it had either registered or was in the process of registering 509,550 Syrians in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey and North Africa "And these numbers are currently climbing by more than 3,000 a day," UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva.
As of Monday, there were 154,387 Syrian refugees registered or in the process of being registered in Lebanon, 142,664 in Jordan, 136,319 in Turkey, 64,449 in Iraq and 11,740 in North Africa, according to the UNHCR.
"In addition to those already registered or awaiting registration, most of these neighbouring countries and North Africa also have large numbers of Syrians who have yet to come forward and seek help," Fleming said.
Jordan, she pointed out, estimates there are some 100,000 Syrians in the country who are not registered, while Turkey says more than 70,000 Syrians are living outside its 14 camps. Since the violence erupted in March 2011, more than 42,000 people have been killed in Syria, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.