The number of Syrians who have fled their conflict-ravaged homeland has surpassed 1.4 million, the United Nations refugee agency said on Friday, warning that it was no longer able to meet their medical needs.

As of Thursday, the total number of Syrians registered as refugees was 1,401,435, the UNHCR said. It added that it has received just 55 per cent of the funding it has sought to help cope with the crisis.

“We cannot deal with all cases and the costs,” said Paul Spiegel, deputy director of the UNHCR’s programme department in Geneva.

An overwhelming majority of the refugees have fled to neighbouring Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Jordan.

A major difficulty for the UNHCR is the growing number of Syrians living beyond refugee camps, which makes it harder to run programmes to help them. — AFP