U.N. refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres says up to 3 million refugees may have fled Syria by the end of 2013. Travis Brecher reports.
The number of refugees fleeing Syria is rising at an alarming rate -- so says the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres. There are now 1 million registered Syrian refugees outside the country. Guterres said the number of refugees has gone from 3,000 a day in December to 8,000 a day in February. (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.N. HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES, ANTONIO GUTERRES, SAYING: "So this shows you the staggering escalation that we are witnessing. Now if this escalation goes on - and nothing happens to solve the problem - we might have in the end of the year a much larger number of refugees, two or three times the present level." The 1 millionth refugee was registered in Jordan on Wednesday, following a dramatic rise in the number of civilians fleeing violence at home. The U.N. refugee body, the UNHCR, says more than 400,000 people have fled Syria since January 1, 2013 - that's nearly half the total. Around 50 percent of the total refugees are children, most of them under the age of 11. An estimated 70,000 people have been killed in Syria's nearly two-year-old civil war, as rebel fighters struggle to oust President Bashar al-Assad.