UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is concerned about "the severe difficulties faced by growing numbers of Syrians seeking safety in Europe during their passage and at borders," UN spokesman Martin Nesirky told reporters here Friday.
While addressing a daily news briefing held here, Nesirky cited cases of hundreds of Syrians lost their lives from being drowned at sea and incidents where Syrians have been dangerously hindered in their journeys.
"UNHCR is working with governments, the European Union and other partners to put in place a comprehensive response to saving lives of refugees and migrants at sea," the spokesman said. "The Agency is calling for a number of measures to prevent further tragedies and increase responsibility-sharing."
An estimated 2.1 million people have so far fled the fighting in Syria. The United Nations says more than 100,000 people have died so far in the civil war, which has been raging for more than two and a half years.
The European Commission says it expects the number of Syrian refugees to increase. About 50,000 have so far asked for protection from European countries, with the majority in Germany and Sweden, reports said.