BEIRUT (AP) — The massive, chaotic influx of Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war has stretched the resources of the neighboring countries taking them in and raised fears of violence spreading across the region. The U.N. estimates there are now nearly 2.7 million Syrians registered in neighboring countries, with more than 67,500 more awaiting registration.
In addition to those, there are hundreds of thousands of Syrians who fled Syria and have not registered as refugees. The country had a prewar population of 23 million.
Underscoring the staggering effect of Syria’s refugee problem on its neighbors, Jordan on Wednesday opened the Azraq refugee camp, a new, sprawling tent city built to host 130,000 people. Here’s a look at the number of Syrian refugees in neighboring countries:
Lebanon is officially home to more than 1 million Syrian refugees, with many more not on the books scattered around the country in informal tent settlements, old construction sites and underground parking garages. UNHCR says Lebanon, a country whose population is about 4.5 million, has the highest per-capita concentration of refugees recorded anywhere in the world in recent history. Despite grave risks to its own stability, Lebanon has kept its border open to the refugees. But the sheer numbers are straining health, education and housing services to the brink of collapse.
Jordan is home to nearly 600,000 registered Syrian refugees, and the numbers are growing daily. Most of the Syrians are staying in two organized encampments near the northern border with Syria and a third, Azraq, was opened Wednesday. The larger of them is Zaatari camp, with a population exceeding 120,000, where refugees are under direct care of the United Nations and the Jordanian government. Azraq, which was built to host 130,000 people, will outstrip Zaatari once full.
Turkey has more than 722,000 registered Syrian refugees. Ankara has been funding and managing the refugees, who have been sheltered in 22 camps complete with schools, medical centers and other social facilities. While Turkey’s borders with Syria remain open, the country is carefully managing the flow of refugees, processing the new arrivals as more accommodation facilities become available to house them.
Iraq is home to more than 221,000 registered Syrian refugees, the majority of them ethnic Kurds from Syria who found shelter in the autonomous Kurdish region in northern Iraq. Tens of thousands live in a camp of tents and cinderblock shacks near the Syrian border, while the rest have found jobs and homes in towns across the region. The local Iraqi Kurdish government allows them to move around freely. Some Syrians have also sought refuge in Iraq’s restive Western province of Anbar but the exact number is not known. They are believed to be mostly Sunnis who dominate the revolt against President Bashar Assad.
Egypt is home to more than 136,000 registered Syrian refugees but officials estimate there are hundreds of thousands of unregistered Syrians in the country.
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