UN says 4m in Syria in dire need

The United Nations is raising its estimates of people trapped in Syria after fleeing their homes, saying some four million are now displaced inside the country and in dire need of international help.

The figure, due to be officially released in the coming days, is a dramatic increase on earlier estimates of 2.5 million displaced put forward by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees for the period from January to June.

It also adds to the 1.2 million refugees who have fled to neighbouring countries - meaning almost a quarter of the nation's population of around 22.5 million has now been forced to flee the two-year conflict.

UNHCR regional public information officer Reem Alsalem acknowledged the initial figures laid out in the Syria humanitarian assistance plan earlier this year "no longer reflect the quickly evolving situation".

In an email, she said the United Nations and its partners were revising their planning figures.

Of the number of internally displaced people inside Syria, "It would be safe to say that they are around four million".

- AFP

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