Humanitarian crisis growing in Syria

Rick Moran
The refugee problem alone needs urgent action. More than 230,000 Syrians have fled their homes, with about 30,000 making their way to Turkey and Lebanon.

But President Assad has a surprise waiting for these refugees; he's laying landmines at the border.

BBC:

Activists said that Syria was laying landmines near its borders with Lebanon and Turkey on routes used by refugees.

Meanwhile, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan says he hopes Syria will reply to his proposals on the crisis on Tuesday.

Mr Annan is in Turkey, where he met Syrian opposition figures as part of his peace mission.

Separately, Syria has announced a date of 7 May for parliamentary elections.

Mr Moumtzis said in Geneva that "on a daily basis hundreds of people are still crossing into neighbouring countries", mainly Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

Mr Moumtzis said the rising cost of basic goods was creating increased hardship, in particular for the 110,000 mostly Iraqi refugees living in Syria.

He said that 30,000 people had fled the country since the uprising began, and figures collected by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society suggested 200,000 people had fled their homes but remained inside Syria.

"There are some indications it is much larger than that," he said.

Economic activity has come to a virtual standstill and there are shortages of everything. It's hard to get an accurate count of internal refugees since many people stay with relatives or friends while others set up makeshift camps in order to survive. But the international community better do something soon or they will have a catastrophe on their hands.

The refugee problem alone needs urgent action. More than 230,000 Syrians have fled their homes, with about 30,000 making their way to Turkey and Lebanon.

But President Assad has a surprise waiting for these refugees; he's laying landmines at the border.

BBC:

Activists said that Syria was laying landmines near its borders with Lebanon and Turkey on routes used by refugees.

Meanwhile, UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan says he hopes Syria will reply to his proposals on the crisis on Tuesday.

Mr Annan is in Turkey, where he met Syrian opposition figures as part of his peace mission.

Separately, Syria has announced a date of 7 May for parliamentary elections.

Mr Moumtzis said in Geneva that "on a daily basis hundreds of people are still crossing into neighbouring countries", mainly Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

Mr Moumtzis said the rising cost of basic goods was creating increased hardship, in particular for the 110,000 mostly Iraqi refugees living in Syria.

He said that 30,000 people had fled the country since the uprising began, and figures collected by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent Society suggested 200,000 people had fled their homes but remained inside Syria.

"There are some indications it is much larger than that," he said.

Economic activity has come to a virtual standstill and there are shortages of everything. It's hard to get an accurate count of internal refugees since many people stay with relatives or friends while others set up makeshift camps in order to survive. But the international community better do something soon or they will have a catastrophe on their hands.