Originally published on Fri August 23, 2013 12:04 pm
Syria's war has reached another grim milestone: Two United Nations agencies announced Friday that 1 million Syrian children have now fled their homeland in an uprising and civil war that's well into its third year.
The accompanying slide show provides a glimpse of some of these children and the conditions they are living in.
In chaotic situations, certain people rise to the top, and that is certainly the case for Mohammed al-Hariri, a former air conditioning repairman who commands enormous deference on the windblown streets of Zaatari refugee camp.
In the Jordanian desert, the chaos begins at sundown, when the wind whips up the desert sand and the buses arrive. For the past two years, Syrian refugees have been streaming into Jordan, and they now number an estimated half million.
But for the past month, more refugees have returned to Syria than entered Jordan, and hundreds are leaving daily from Zaatari, the U.N.'s largest refugee camp in Jordan.
"Four buses are going every day," says Kilian Kleinschmidt, who runs Zaatari. "Depending on how many people manage to storm the buses, it's probably 300 to 400 people."
The United Nations Refugee Commission says more than 45.2 million people were in "situations of displacement" around the world as of last year — the most since 1994.
A report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says there were 15.4 million refugees in other countries, 937,000 people seeking political asylum and 28.8 million people forced out of their homes but still inside their own countries.