This month will mark the second anniversary of the start of the Syrian civil war, and after two years of violence and destruction the number of citizens who have fled to neighboring countries has reached 1,000,000. The United Nations commission on refugees says that even though the fighting has raged for months, the number of people seeking safe haven each month continues to rise, adding in a statement that "Syria is spiralling towards full-scale disaster." One million people equals five percent of the total population.
According the U.N.'s estimates, nearly 400,000 of those refugees have left just this year. Perhaps the most tragic fact of all is that fully half of the refugees are children under the age of 11.
The majority of the Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan or Lebanon, with others going to Turkey, Iraq, and some making it as far away as Egypt and Europe.. The surge of refugees into Lebanon is so great (329,000+ so far) that they have increased the population of that country by nearly 10 percent.
As great as that number is, it doesn't even account for the full scale of the tragedy in Syria, because the U.N. only counts refugees who have actually left the country and made it to one of their official camps. The number of people still in Syria who have been displaced from their homes may be double the number of refugees, and there are also tens of thousands of refugees who have fled the country and settled elsewhere. It also doesn't include the more than 60,000 Syrians who have died in the conflict.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.