Number Of Syrians Displaced By Civil War Tops Seven Million

The number of Syrian residents displaced by the civil war has hit a new number of seven million. The number is equal to almost one-third of the nation’s population, according to the United Nations.

The latest figures come from the UN, which is also seeking to determine if a chemical weapons attack happened in Syria on August 21.

Syria’s civil war has left hospitals and burial grounds overflowing, reports The Huffington Post. It has also displaced up to seven million people, who have sought refuge both inside and outside the country.

UN spokesman Tarik Kurdi stated on Monday that five of the seven million displaced Syrians are still inside the country. The remaining two million have taken refuge in neighboring countries. Of those displaced, two million of them are children.

Kurdi explained that the UN has provided humanitarian assistance to those in need. However, much more is needed, because the funding gap is “very, very wide.” International donors have provided less than one-third of the money needed to help Syrian refugees.

NBC News notes that Peter Kessler, a spokesman for UN refugee agency UNHCR, added that the UN has received $1.5 billion of its $5 billion aid appeal.

Along with displacing up to seven million Syrians, the war, which started in March 2011, has also resulted in the deaths of more than 100,000 people. The nation had a pre-war population of about 20.8 million.

The new numbers from the United Nations come as the world debates about how to respond to a reported chemical weapons attack on August 21. The attack, reportedly carried out by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s troops, killed more than 1,400 people, including many women and children.

The French government is considering launching strikes against Syria. While US President Barack Obama has said he wants to launch limited strikes, he has asked the US Congress to approve the military involvement.

With no end in site, the number of Syrians displaced by the bloody conflict will likely rise even higher.

[Image by Voice of America News: Henry Ridgewell on Turkish border via WIkimedia Commons]