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370,000 dead: Syria’s war in numbers

A scene from the Syria war. 

Beirut, Lebanon | AFP |  The Syrian conflict, which entered its ninth year on Friday, has ravaged the lives of millions of people since it started in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.

Here are some figures:

– Victims
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a vast network of sources across Syria, says it has recorded the deaths of more than 370,000 people since unprecedented protests began on March 15, 2011.

Those killed have included 112,623 civilians, of whom 21,000 were children and 13,000 women.

– Handicapped –
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) 2.9 million people are living with a permanent disability.

A study conducted by French group Handicap International in 2017 and 2018 says that more than three fifths of Syrian refugee families include a disabled person.

– Refugees –
According to the US non-governmental organisation CARE, the conflict has caused the biggest population displacement since World War II.

The fighting has pushed close to 13 million — more than half the country’s pre-war population of 23 million — from their homes, according to the United Nations.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) says 6.2 million people have been displaced within Syria itself since 2011, while 5.6 million people are refugees in the region.

Turkey alone, the main host country, has taken in more than 3.6 million Syrian refugees.

It is followed by Lebanon, which says it hosts 1.5 million Syrians against a total population of four million.

Less than one million of those are registered with the UNHCR. Most of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in insecurity and depend on international aid.

In Jordan, where UNHCR says it has registered 657,000 Syrians, the government says it is hosting 1.3 million refugees.

At least another 246,000 Syrians have taken refuge in Iraq and 130,000 in Egypt, the UN agency says.

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have also headed to Europe, notably to Germany, where they account for the majority of asylum seekers.

– Jailed, tortured –
Since the start of the conflict, President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has been accused of human rights abuses and of cases of torture, rape and summary executions.

According to the Observatory, at least 60,000 people have died under torture or due to dire conditions in regime prisons.

Half a million people have gone through regime jails since the outbreak of the war, it says.

In 2017, Amnesty International said authorities had hanged around 13,000 people between 2011 and 2015 at the infamous Saydnaya prison near Damascus.

It said a further 17,700 people had died in custody since the conflict began.

Several thousand have died over the same period in prisons run by jihadists or other rebel groups, Amnesty says.

– Lack of schooling –
Five million Syrian children have been born since 2011 — one million of them in refugee-hosting countries — the UN children’s fund UNICEF says.

An estimated 2.1 million Syrian children are out of school, it says, and more than one in three schools have been damaged or destroyed.

– Economy in ruins –
According to OCHA, 13 million people inside the country are in need of humanitarian aid.

Some 6.5 million people in Syria are unable to meet their food needs, the UN’s World Food Programme says.

With unemployment, power cuts and gas shortages, more than 80 percent of Syrians live under the poverty line, according to OCHA.

The oil and gas sector has since 2011 lost an estimated $74 billion, according to Syrian authorities.

While the energy sector is the hardest hit, every sector has been damaged by the conflict.

The United Nations estimates the overall cost in damages at nearly $400 billion.

 

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