A storm buffeted the Middle East with blizzards, rain and strong winds, raising concerns for Syrian refugees facing freezing temperatures in flimsy shelters. Photograph: Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) has called on the international community to step up efforts to alleviate the suffering of the 620,000 registered Syrian(...)

Boys stand by a wall in the old city of Aleppo in Syria. Unicef predicts by the end of 2015, the lives of over 8.6 million children across Syria will have been torn apart by violence and forced displacement. Photograph: Jalal Al-Mamo/Reuters

The humanitarian crisis in Syria and the Middle East and the growing number of African migrants making the treacherous journey across the Mediterranea(...)

Migrants arriving at Porto Empedocle in Sicily after being rescued approx 40km off the Libyian coast by a Dutch freighter the Dinteldijk. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

Governments must focus on saving lives rather than keeping foreigners out at a time when more people than ever are embarking on risky sea crossings in(...)

A Syrian refugee girl makes tea inside a caravan at the Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria. The UN World Food Programme has said it is restarting food aid for 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt after it received enough donations to fund the halted programme. Photograph: Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

The United Nations refugee agency urged rich nations on Tuesday to show solidarity with Syria’s neighbours by making pledges to resettle the most vuln(...)

Francis Fitzgerald has said Ireland is committed to continuing with its resettlement programme, having pledged an additional 220 resettlement places for 2015/2016. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

Minister for Justice Frances Fitzgerald has confirmed 111 people from Syria and the surrounding region have been granted permission to reside in Irela(...)

Australian prime minister Tony Abbott. Australia’s highest court gave the United Nations permission today to give evidence in a groundbreaking legal challenge to the country’s power to intercept asylum seekers’ boats outside its territorial waters. Photograph: Reuters

Australia’s highest court gave the United Nations permission today to give evidence in a groundbreaking legal challenge to the country’s power to in(...)

Kurdish Syrian refugees stand in a truck at the Turkish-Syrian border near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province. A UN report today says that the number of people seeking asylum this year is on track to hit a 20-year high. Photograph: Murad Sezer/Reuters.

Wars in Syria and Iraq, and instability elsewhere are driving ever more people to seek asylum in wealthy nations, with requests on track to hit a 20-y(...)

Syrian refugees cross the Syrian-Turkish border near Sanliurfa, Turkey, yesterday. The Islamic State assault against dozens of Kurdish villages in northern Syria could create a mass exodus, with up to 400,000 seeking refuge in neighbouring Turkey, a United Nations official warned. Photograph: Sedat Suna/EPA

About 150,000 Syrians, mostly Kurds from northern and eastern Syria, have poured over the border into Turkey in search of safety during the past week (...)

Refugees wait near the Turkish-Syrian border after fleeing Syria, near Sanliurfa, Turkey, yesterday. More than  130,000 Syrian Kurds fleeing the Islamic State militant group have crossed into Turkey in the past three days, the deputy Turkisk prime minister said. Photograph: Ulas Yunus Tosun/EPA.

Syrian Kurdish fighters say they have halted an advance by Islamic State fighters to the east of a predominantly Kurdish town near the border with Tur(...)

Actor and  United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees special envoy Angelina Jolie listens to Maltese military officers discussing rescue at sea operations for refugees at a military base in Valetta, Malta. Photograph: EPA/Pete Muller

About 500 migrants drowned after the boat carrying them from Egypt to Malta was apparently deliberately sunk by people-traffickers, an international m(...)