U.N. refugee agency UNHCR expects 1.4 million refugees to flee to Europe via the Mediterranean this year and next, it said in a revised appeal seen by Reuters on Thursday, a sharp rise from initial estimates of 850,000.
Some Iraqi soldiers are abandoning their posts and joining a wave of civilian migrants headed to Europe, raising new doubts about the cohesion of the country's Western-backed security forces in the fight against Islamic State militants.
While many European countries say asylum seekers could damage their economies if they let in too many, Germany is counting on the record numbers pouring across its borders to save its own.
Berlin estimates its
Thousands of migrants streamed into Germany on Sunday, many travelling through Austria from Hungary where they had been stranded against their will for days, while European Union governments argue over how to respond.
A convoy of
Lebanon plans tighter entry requirements for Syrians, a senior Lebanese security official said on Saturday, as it tries to stem the flow of refugees from its larger neighbour.
Lebanon hosts more than a million Syrian refugees and
About 13.6 million people, equivalent to the population of London, have been displaced by conflicts in Syria and Iraq, and many are without food or shelter as winter starts, the UN refugee agency UNHCR said on Tuesday.
Iraqi Kurdish troops drove Islamic State fighters from a strategic border crossing with Syria on Tuesday and won the support of members of a major Sunni tribe, in one of the biggest successes since US forces began bombing the Islamists.
More than 50 million people were forcibly uprooted worldwide at the end of last year, the highest level since after World War Two, as people fled crises from Syria to South Sudan, the UN refugee agency said on Friday.
Half are chi
The U.N.'s World Food Programme (WFP) delivered rations to a record 3.8 million people in Syria in December, but civilians in eastern provinces and besieged towns near the capital remain out of reach, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday.
The United Nations appealed for $6.5 billion for Syria and neighbouring countries on Monday to provide assistance to a total of 16 million people, many left hungry or homeless by the conflict soon entering its fourth year.