22 May 2013 The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided $9.8 million to support the establishment of a new camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan and to help meet the growing needs of those fleeing the ongoing conflict.
“With this CERF funding, UN agencies will be able to better meet the needs of the influx of people fleeing the increasingly desperate situation in Syria,” said the acting Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan, Andrew Harper.
“With the hard climate expected during the approaching summer, the most urgent and basic need is to provide clean water and shelter,” he added in a news release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The Jordanian Government, which estimates that there are currently more than 500,000 Syrian refugees in the country, requested UN support to set up and service a new camp in Azraq town to take the pressure off the Za’atari camp, which has reached full capacity with over 100,000 people.
The CERF allocation will support the first phases of the establishment of the new camp, which is expected to accommodate up to 110,000 refugees by the end of the year.
The funds will be channelled through the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to assist the first 50,000 vulnerable refugees in need of life-saving shelter and non-food items as well as water, sanitation and hygiene services in the new camp.
Yesterday the UN reported that the total number of people in need of assistance as a result of the ongoing conflict in Syria is now 8.3 million, representing about 38 per cent of the country’s population. This figure includes some 6.8 million in need inside Syria and 1.5 million who have sought refuge in neighbouring countries, including Jordan.
OCHA has called the situation in Syria a “humanitarian catastrophe” and warned that funding for the response has not kept pace with the growing needs. UN aid agencies and their partners, who appealed for $1.5 billion at the start of the year for the humanitarian response to the Syrian crisis, are expected to announce a revised funding appeal early next month.
Launched in 2006, CERF enables the fast delivery of life-saving assistance to people affected by natural disasters and other crises worldwide. It is funded by voluntary contributions from Member States, non-governmental organizations, regional governments, the private sector and individual donors.
Since May 2011, the Fund has provided more than $84 million to support life-saving operations in Syria and in neighbouring countries.
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