The figures which show that this is, beyond any doubt, a refugee crisis

Louis Dor
Thursday 03 September 2015 12:40

A UN report in July indicated that a third of those who arrived by sea in Italy and Greece in the first half of this year came from Syria, while people fleeing violence in Afghanistan and Eritrea constituted 12 per cent.

Other prominent countries of origin included Somalia, Nigeria, Iraq and Sudan.

Antonio Guterres, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, said in reaction to the report:

Most of the people arriving by sea in Europe are refugees, seeking protection from war and persecution.

The UN is currently responding to humanitarian crises affecting 37 countries and 78.9 million people.

Of the funding for humanitarian response projects, 55 per cent has gone to so-called "level three emergencies" - the highest priority on the UN's list - those being Iraq, Syria, the Central African Republic and South Sudan.

The UNHCR also publishes month by month statistical data for asylum seekers, individuals who have sought international protection and whose claims for refugee status have not yet been determined, irrespective of when they may have been lodged.

Syria is the most frequent country of origin for asylum applicants in 2015 by a significant margin.


In terms of those seeking asylum in the EU, the overview is a similar picture:

A large proportion of asylum seekers this year come from countries with ongoing conflict, with more seeking asylum in Germany, France, Sweden and Italy than other countries.

In terms of the UK, Syria constitutes the fourth largest country of origin, behind Pakistan, Iran and Eritrea, with only 834 applicants so far this year.

The UK has received 11,349 applications for asylum so far this year, according to the latest UN month by month data.


12.2 million people from Syria are estimated by the UN to be in need of humanitarian assistance, a number that has rapidly risen since 2012.

4.1 million people are estimated to have fled the country and more than half of all Syrians have been forced to leave their homes, often multiple times, making Syria the largest displacement crisis globally.

Over 200,000 people have been killed and over one million injured.

A report in June said programmes implemented by the UN and NGOs under the plan faced a funding gap of $3.47 billion.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said:

We are so dangerously low on funding that we risk not being able to meet even the most basic survival needs of millions of people over the coming six months.

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