UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) António Guterres and his Special Envoy Angelina Jolie were in Turkey today, continuing their mission to visit Syrian refugees.

The trip follows their visits to Jordan and Lebanon over the last few days, and saw the pair reiterate the need to help countries that are hosting tens of thousands of people fleeing violence in Syria.

From UNHCR.org: "During their trip, Guterres and Jolie thanked Turkey for keeping its borders open for anyone seeking asylum; for adopting a system of temporary protection; and providing assurance that no Syrian would be forcibly returned. They also praised the role of the Turkish Red Crescent in providing aid to the refugees.

“More than 80,000 refugees, mainly women and children, are staying in these camps and the government is planning four more by the end of this month to house a further 36,000. In addition, up to 60,000 people are thought to be staying with relatives or renting rooms and apartments in urban areas.

“’Syrians have a history of welcoming people in need,’ said Jolie. ‘Now it is their hour of need and I am grateful to Turkey and all the neighboring countries for their extraordinary generosity.’ More than 250,000 Syrians have to date registered or applied to register as refugees in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan, but the real number of those who have fled the fighting could be much higher.

“During her visit to Kilis camp, Jolie talked to several families, all of whom had lost relatives. One woman told the actress that a whole family was killed in her town when their home was bombed. “We don’t care about our houses,” the woman told her. “We care about the blood of the people.” Another woman told Jolie about the sole survivor of another family – a baby found cradled in her dead mother’s arms.

“Education was a recurrent theme during the visit and Guterres and Jolie toured a new primary school with walls covered with children’s artwork. But some families expressed concern about the future for their children. “There is no way to advance as a refugee,” one Syrian said. “Life stops. Even though we are alive, life has ended.”

“Later on Thursday, Guterres and Jolie visited the Islahiye refugee camp in Gaziantep province. The recently established camp houses some 10,000 Syrians in tents. Under the sweltering heat, refugees voiced fears for family members back home and said they were concerned about the coming winter.”

To read the full report, visit UNHCR.org.

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