This story appears in the March 2014 issue of National Geographic magazine.
By the end of 2013, Syria’s bloody and complex civil war had displaced some nine million men, women, and children (view map). Although most of them have relocated to less troubled parts of the country, roughly one in four has fled altogether, desperate to escape the violence and chaos and the mounting shortages of food, medicine, and other necessities. This relentless exodus has created a humanitarian crisis for neighboring countries and is spilling into Europe and beyond. And as the conflict enters its third year, there is no sign of resolution in sight. Photographer Lynsey Addario has documented the struggles of the displaced in Syria as well as in the four nations that have seen the greatest influx. The man pictured above is one of the millions, shown after he crossed into northern Iraq last August. Waiting for his brother, he sits with the belongings he could carry, surrounded by the trash of those who came before him. According to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, 3,000 to 6,000 people leave Syria every day. But borders are tightening, and it is getting harder and harder to find a safe place to land.