Statement by Kristalina Georgieva on latest figure of refugees fleeing from the Syrian crisis
Type: Summary of press conference
Brussels - EC/Berlaymont
On 3 September 2013, Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, made a statement on the deterioration of the situation in Syria at the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium. On this occasion, she reiterated her call for the fighting to cease and for a political solution to be found urgently.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Soundbite by Kristalina Georgieva, Member of the EC in charge of International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, (in ENGLISH): Today it was confirmed that the number of refugees who have fled from the war in Syria into neighbouring countries has reached the appalling milestone of two million. More than half of all those refugees are children.The number has doubled in a very short period of less than six months; from 16th March, this year, when we hit one million to now. This tragic figure is so hard to visualise. Just try thinking of four times the number of citizens of Manchester or Lyon or just over the population of Warsaw or the size of the capital of my own country, Bulgaria. Then, imagine also what this sudden movement of a city-sized population means in terms of the increased pressure on resources such as education, health and security for the countries hosting the refugees.Most of those who have had to flee Syria are concentrated in four countries; Lebanon Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. It is a tragedy for those who have been forced to flee from their homes but it is also tremendous hardship for their generous hosts who are facing many challenges to their own stability as a result of the exodus from Syria.Tragic and cruel as it is, the truth is that with violence becoming ever more ferocious, brutal and inhumane, the tide of refugees is bound to continue to rise. And increasingly the civilian population is at the eye of the target.Once again, I call for the fighting to cease and for a political solution to be found urgently. Until that time and it may be further from our reach than ever before - I reiterate my plea to all parties to abide by International Humanitarian Law and to protect civilians and those who are helping them to survive.