The risk of instability in the Middle East has increased as Syrian refugees continue to flee to neighboring countries in order to escape the civil war at home. These countries are experiencing economic and political pressure due to the massive refugee influx that has dramatically increased their population sizes and strained their resources.
The Syrian conflict began in March 2011 with a series of peaceful protests and has since resulted in the death of more than 170,000 people and uprooted an additional 9 million. The latest figures from the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, show that approximately 2.9 million refugees currently reside in the neighboring countries of Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. An additional 6.5 million remain internally displaced. These numbers continue to grow at a rate of around 100,000 people per month.
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