The UN refugee agency says there has been a huge increase in the number of people fleeing Syria, with 5,000 refugees crossing the borders daily into neighboring countries.
Agency spokesman Adrian Edwards said that "5,000 people are now crossing the borders of Syria into other countries every single day, so this is really a full-on crisis right at the moment."
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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.
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