Ankara, 5 Jumadil Akhir 1434/15 April 2013 (MINA) – UN refugee agency has warned that the number of Syrian refugees in Turkey might reach as high as 1 million by the end of the year, Anadolu Agency reported, Sunday (14/4).

       “In case of Turkey, we are already discussing with authorities, if that the number anticipated to be in Turkey by the end of the year might even reach to a million by it self,” Carol Batchelor told the Anadolu Agency in an interiew, according Anadolu Agency report monitored Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

       “We have heard from Lebanon that they already have 1 million. So the numbers are absolutely huge. Is the international community prepared for the numbers that might come? The short answer is no,” he said.

      In Turkey there are currently over 400,000 Syrians who fled the three-year-old civil war in their country which according to the UN has killed more than 70,000 people.

      Batchelor said the numbers projected for June were passed in March which she said forced the UNHCR to revise its Regional Response Plan, adding that the known figure had exceeded well over a million just in the neighboring countries.

      The UNHCR representative also said international donors had failed to live up to their pledges they made in a January conference in Kuwait.

      “I am sorry to say that, although many pledges were made in Kuwait, we have not seen the full scope of fulfillment of those pledges,” Batchelor said.

      In the Kuwait conference donors pledged $1.5 billion in aid to Syrian refugees.   

      “If there is not support, Syrians could be in circumstances where they don’t have shelter, food, medicine and education. The UN support systems can have those needs met. We can provide shelter, food, medicine, if the support is there to empower and enable us,” Batchelor said.

      Batchelor also praised a law over foreigners and international protection in Turkey the government has recently-introduced saying, the UNHCR considered the law “an extremely positive undertaking.”

      “Even though there has not been a law on international protection, Turkey has been undertaking international protection. The principles are there, there has been a very strong and positive practice,” she said.

      Batchelor said that offered a common framework for those principles. 

      “It’s a rights-based law. It has the necessary components to ensure the rights and entitlements of both for those seeking protection and for the state that is extending this protection,” she said. (T/P09/E1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).

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