The five-year, continuing civil war in Syria is the greatest crisis to have hit the Levant since World War II. According to recent figures released by the Damascus-based Syrian Center for Policy Research, up to 470,000 people have died in the war. Fully 11.5 % of the population have been killed or injured, and 45% of the population have left their homes as a result of the conflict. Of these, more than 4 million have left Syria, while 6.36 million people live inside the country as internally displaced persons. Life expectancy has dropped from 70.5 years in 2010 to an estimated 55.4 years in 2015.

The war, meanwhile, currently shows no sign of conclusion. A ceasefire that began on 27 February has partially held in some areas of the country, but in much of Syria the fighting is continuing, and the underlying causes of the war remain far from resolution.

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