UN marks World Refugee Day in Syria

UN agencies marked World Refugee Day on Sunday (June 19th) in Syria with various awareness raising activities, AFP reported.

Millions have fled Syria's civil war, becoming refugees, while some refugees from other countries have decided to stay in Syria despite the devastating conflict.

"Syria has been a host to refugees for many, many decades," said Sajjad Malik, the UN refugee agency's chief in Damascus.

"It is unfortunate that the civil war, the conflict here, has resulted in Syrians who have left and become refugees in a number of countries," he said.

Syria's war has forced 5.6 million to flee to other areas within the country and a further 4.8 million to seek asylum outside.

The country still hosts 31,400 refugees from other countries, mostly Iraq, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

The number of refugees and others fleeing their homes worldwide has hit a new record, spiking to 65.3 million people by the end of 2015, the UN said Monday.

Global displacement figures have been rising since the mid-1990s, but the rate of increase has jumped since the outbreak of Syria's civil war in 2011.

Syria ranks second for the largest number of refugees, with 4.9 million refugees.

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