As the international community marks World Refugee Day on Thursday (June 20), the United Nations says the number of refugees worldwide is at its highest in 18 years, with the Syrian conflict being the main cause behind this drastic increase.

Syria's war has contributed to the biggest rise in global refugee numbers since 1994, the year of the Rwandan genocide and the height of conflict in the Balkans, the U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said in its annual report published this week.

By the end of 2012, more than 45.2 million people worldwide were refugees, seeking asylum or displaced in their own country -- and the number increased on average by one every 4.1 seconds.

Jordan hosts one of the largest community of Syrian refugees in the region, with over 500,000 living in the country.

Although Jordan officially maintains an open border policy, many Syrians find themselves unable to cross into the country, remaining stranded in make-shift refugee camps near the Syrian-Jordanian border.

Those who manage to cross the border are then transferred into one of several refugee camps in the country.

Most of the refugees entering the country are women and children, with many of the men deciding to stay behind to fight.

Currently the largest camp in the country is the Zaatari refugee camp, located in the north of J ordan. Humanitarian agencies are struggling to keep up with the needs of the refugees.

As the conflict continues in its second year, the U.N. estimates that 3.5 million people will have fled the country by the end of the 2013, one million of those being in Jordan.

Presented by Adam Justice