Two Syrian children lay on a handmade swing in front of their tent at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan on Sept. 2: The camp was originally built to hold 500 people. Now it has 26,000. Photo: AP photo/Mohammad Hannon
In August, 103,416 refugees fled Syria seeking asylum, the highest monthly total since the country’s uprising began in March 2011, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The August rush almost doubled the total number of refugees, which now stands at 235,300, in just a single month. “If you do the math, it’s quite an astonishing number,” says Melissa Fleming, spokeswoman for the U.N. refugee agency. And that figure only reflects the people who have registered, meaning the actual numbers might be far higher.
Turkey, Syria’s neighbor to the north, says it has let in 80,000 Syrians, with another 8,000 caught in a bottleneck at the border. Jordan, to the south, says that as many as 183,000 Syrians have crossed the border since the uprising began, with 1,000 more now arriving each day. Another 500 a day are going east into Iraq — up from about 500 per week in early August. Smaller numbers are going to Lebanon, which borders southwestern Syria. And meanwhile, another 1.5 million Syrians have fled their homes but remained inside Syria — meaning 8 percent of the country’s entire population is on the move.