Edwards told reporters Friday in Geneva that there are now 787,000 Syrians who are registered or being helped as refugees, mainly in Lebanon,
Iraq, Jordan and Turkey.
He said that the number shot up by 25% alone in January, and that in mid-December, when the agency issued its response plan for Syria, there were 515,000 refugees.
Another United Nations agency, UNICEF,
said in a new assessment that Syrian civilians in conflict zones had only one-third the water supplies of pre-crisis levels, with Aleppo, rural Damascus, Deir al-Zour, Homs,
Idlib and Raqqa the most severely afflicted.
According to the UN, as of this week, 260,943 Syrians had registered or were waiting to register as refugees in Lebanon, 242,649 in Jordan; 177,180 in Turkey; and 84,852 in Iraq. At least 15,000 have sought refuge in Egypt.
The UN says that over 65,000 have been killed since the revolt against Syrian President Bashar Assad's
regime erupted in March 2011.