Some 4.1 million Syrians are fleeing a homeland riven by more than four years of civil war. Some Mid East countries have taken in so many migrants it’s caused a population spike, while others have done little or nothing at all.
Turkey: 1.9 million – Remarkably, Turkey now shelters almost half of the Syrian refugees and clearly has more than it can handle. Geography explains much of it: Turkey and Syria share a border. The masses are so vast that 14% of them are sheltered in camps, U.S. figures show.
Lebanon: 1.1 million – The influx is so profound in Lebanon that the 1.1 million Syrian refugees mark a 25% increase in the country’s 4.4 million population. Those figures make Lebanon the country with the highest per capita concentration of refugees, the United Nations says. It also shares a border with Syria.
Jordan: 629,000 – Jordan provides shelter to a large number of refugees from Syria, Iraq, Somalia and Sudan, but Syrians constitute the majority of Jordan’s refugee population. About 20% of the Syrian arrivals live in camps. The Syrian arrivals, however, strain resources and “could have a negative impact on Jordanian public opinion of refugees and make preserving the country’s asylum space in the country challenging,” the United Nations says.
Iraq: 249,000 – The notion of Syrian refugees in Iraq may strike some as ironic, if not absurd, because Iraq has deteriorated under sectarian strife and ISIS assaults, producing a sizable population of Iraqi refugees. Most of the Syrian refugees have settled in northern areas such as Irbil, Duhuk and Nineveh, which are among the closest to the Syrian border and have large Kurdish populations. About 38% of the Syrian refugees live in camps in Iraq, the U.S. State Department says.
Egypt: 132,000 – Egypt rounds out this look at how the Mideast hosts most of the Syrian refugees. No refugees live in camps there. In fact, Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris, one of the region’s wealthiest men, has offered to buy an island for refugees. He would like to buy an isle from Greece or Italy. His name for the proposed island home: Hope.