UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 5 (Xinhua) -- The number of people displaced by the civil war inside Syria is expected to nearly double from some 3.5 million now to 6.5 million by the end of the year, a senior UN official told reporters here.
Nearly 2.5 million others have already sought refuge in neighboring countries, the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) Regional Coordinator for Syria, Amin Awad, said while speaking at a news conference at UN Headquarters in New York Wednesday.
The total funding sought for both refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) for this year totals 6.5 billion U.S. dollars -- 2.4 billion U.S. dollars for the former and 4.2 billion dollars for the latter, according to Awad.
"That's a big amount of money," he said. "However, that statement is accurate. There are 155 agencies, UN and non- governmental organizations (involved)."
Major targets of the funding are protection, education and shelter for the displaced.
About 85 percent of the refugees were not staying in camps but with host communities, putting an "incredible strain and impact" on these communities, said Awad, calling the situation an " overwhelming emergency." According to him, UNHCR planned to boost its support for them.
Beyond the IDPs there are another 3 million people inside Syria in desperate need for help and among the refugees there are 8,000 children who have been separated from their families, he said.