11 March 2014 The United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) is assisting with preparations for new Syrian arrivals once Jordan’s third refugee camp opens on 30 April, a spokesperson today confirmed.
The Azraq camp, located nearly 100 kilometers east of the capital, Amman, will eventually accommodate up to 130,000 people. Many of these are expected to be people recently crossing from Syria and refugees already in the country willing to be reunited with newly arrived families.
“The opening will be timely as the past weeks have seen the numbers of people crossing the border increasing by 50 per cent to an average of approximately 600 daily,” said UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards, welcoming the Jordanian Government's decision to open the camp.
“This increase, combined with a lower number of spontaneous returns to Syria, is putting strains on Za’atari,” he added in reference to the the main camp hosting Syrian refugees in Jordan.
Housing more than 120,000 – half of them children – Za’atari become the fourth largest city in Jordan and is also the world’s second largest refugee camp behind Dadaab in eastern Kenya.
There are 584,600 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR in Jordan, the majority of them live in urban areas throughout the country and the remaining 20 per cent are in refugee camps and settlements.
Nearly 2.5 million Syrians have fled to Jordan and other neighbouring countries since the conflict flared three years ago. The fighting killed more than 100,000 people and has injured some 680,000 others. More than 9.3 million people are in need of assistance inside Syria, including at least 6.5 million who are internally displaced.
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