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Syria's neighbors seek more help for refugees

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September 4, 2013 10:21 AM EST | AP

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GENEVA — Top officials from four nations harboring more than 1.8 million Syrian refugees say they badly need outside help to care for those fleeing the violence.

In a joint statement Wednesday, the foreign ministers from Iraq, Jordan and Turkey, Lebanon's social affairs minister and U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres urgently appealed for greater international support for the refugees.

Guterres says Syria's neighbors are paying a heavy price to deal with Syria's civil war. His agency says the conflict has forced over 2 million people out of the country – more than half of them children – and displaced over 4 million others within its borders since March 2011.

He says there are 716,000 refugees in Lebanon, 515,000 in Jordan, 460,000 in Turkey, 168,000 in Iraq and 110,000 in Egypt.