A new report from the U.N. High Commission on Refugees estimates that the number of refugees flooding into neighboring Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq will exceed 700,000 by the end of the year.
The report, in which the U.N. appealed for $487.9 million in aid to support the Syrian refugees, said there are currently 294,000 Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration, up nearly seven-fold from the 41,500 refugees reported registered in March 2012. Moreover, there are approximately two to three thousand refugees still coming across the borders every day -- and that’s not even counting the estimated 1.5 to 2 million internally displaced Syrians, who have not yet left the country.
"Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Turkey have set the example, keeping their borders open for Syrians fleeing violence. The neighboring countries cannot do this alone. The international community must continue to demonstrate solidarity," said Panos Moumtzis, UNHCR's regional coordinator for Syrian refugees, in a statement.
“This is not business as usual. We are running out of time, and we need the funding urgently,” he told the New York Times. So far, the Times reported, they have only raised $141 million.
Speaking to reporters via Google Plus from Damascus last week, World Food Programme spokeswoman Abeer Etefa said that the majority of refugees are women with children, and with winter approaching, they need blankets and shelter quickly.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based activist group, told the BBC that on Wednesday upward of 300 people were killed, making it the bloodiest day in the 18-month war thus far.