More than half a million Syrians have been counted by the UNHCR as seeking shelter from Syria’s brutal civil war in neighbouring countries, and a similar number have probably quietly moved and found work in other countries without telling anyone. In addition, well over two million people have been internally displaced as the fighting rages through Syria’s largest cities.
This means that over three million people have had to flee their homes, and face a very uncertain future. The harshest fate has befallen the very poor who had to flee their homes at short notice and are now living in refugee camps. Internal displacement is destroying normal family life for millions of people. Even the better off who have moved to the Gulf states or Europe share the deep insecurity of not being able to return home and are concerned about the fate of their relatives and property.
The war continues unabated as the opposition feels it might be about to defeat the government, and Bashar Al Assad’s forces are getting ready for a decisive stand. But this titanic struggle is remote from the refugees, whose situation is increasingly desperate. Winter is coming and in the camps, the cold will kill the elderly and weak. They need an end to the fighting and a chance to return to their normal lives in their homes, if they are still standing.