AN appeal has been launched by one of Scotland's leading international aid agencies to help Syrians fleeing the country amid the civil war.

The Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (Sciaf) is calling on Scots to help thousands of Syrian refugees flooding into neighbouring Jordan.

The Syrian civil war has so far seen 60,000 killed and an estimated 1.5 million people leave their homes as violence increases.

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Basic needs such as food, clean water and safe shelter are difficult to obtain and the United Nations estimates four million people are in need of humanitarian assistance because of the conflict.

Sciaf, the official international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church in Scotland, will be working through sister agencies in the region, such as Caritas Jordan, to provide emergency aid to refugees, the majority of whom are women and children.

With Sciaf's support Caritas Jordan will provide help to 25,500 people in Amman, Irbid, Zarqa, Madaba and Mafraq.

Patricia Chale, Sciaf's director, said: "I am appealing to all Sciaf supporters and the wider Scottish public to please give whatever they can today to help the people devastated by this war who now find themselves homeless refugees in desperate need."