U.N.: Syria Crisis Is “Biggest Humanitarian Emergency of Our Era”

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 30 2014 11:17 AM

U.N.: Syria Crisis Is “Biggest Humanitarian Emergency of Our Era”

Nic6359245
Syrian refugees sit in the back of a pick-up truck as they drive through the Lebanese village of Labweh in the Bekaa Valley.

Photo by JOSEPH EID/AFP/Getty Images

Three million people have been forced out of Syria amid the country’s civil war, one million of whom have escaped in the past year, says the United Nations. Even though the Syria crisis “has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era” the international community “is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them,” said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. The astounding figure means that one in eight Syrians have crossed the border to flee, details the Associated Press.  

As shocking as the number may be, the refugee crisis is only one part of a larger humanitarian emergency. Some 6.5 million Syrians are estimated to have been displaced inside the country, reports Reuters. That means “almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives,” according to the U.N. refugee agency. Although donors have already forked over $4.1 billion to help people engulfed in the crisis, at least an additional $2 billion is needed by the end of the year, notes CNN. The latest figures come a week after the United Nations said there had been 191,369 documented killings in Syria from March 2011 until April of this year.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

TODAY IN SLATE

Doublex

Crying Rape

False rape accusations exist, and they are a serious problem.

Scotland Learns That Breaking Up a Country Is Hard to Do

There’s a Way to Keep Ex-Cons Out of Prison That Pays for Itself. Why Don’t More States Use It?

The Music Industry Is Ignoring Some of the Best Black Women Singing R&B

How Will You Carry Around Your Huge New iPhone? Apple Pants!

Culturebox

Theo’s Joint and Vanessa’s Whiskey

No sitcom did the “Very Special Episode” as well as The Cosby Show.

Television

The Other Huxtable Effect

Thirty years ago, The Cosby Show gave us one of TV’s great feminists.

Cliff Huxtable Explains the World: Five Lessons From TV’s Greatest Dad

Why Television Needs a New Cosby Show Right Now

  News & Politics
The World
Sept. 19 2014 12:33 PM The Precarious Predicament of Russia’s Neighbors
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 12:09 PM How Accelerators Have Changed Startup Funding
  Life
The Vault
Sept. 19 2014 12:08 PM The CIA Used to Have a Commute-by-Canoe Club. One Member’s Memories.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 11:33 AM Planned Parenthood Is About to Make It a Lot Easier to Get Birth Control
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 12:10 PM Watch the Trailer for Big Eyes, a Tim Burton Movie About People With Normal-Sized Eyes
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 11:40 AM Apple Invented the Perfect Way to Handle Your Giant New Phone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 12:13 PM The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola  The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.