(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The UN will call on the international community later this month to boost its commitments to the Syrian refugee community in Jordan, which is growing by the "hundreds" each day, a UN official said on Wednesday.
On June 29, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is expected to launch its second aid appeal in three months in order to sustain various basic services to vulnerable Syrians across the region, whose numbers are expected to reach 70,000 in Jordan alone, UNHCR Representative in Jordan Andrew Harper told The Jordan Times
"As the conflict continues, we have to be prepared to meet the needs of vulnerable Syrians arriving to Jordan and the Syrians already in Jordan who may become vulnerable as time goes on," Harper said.
Although the amount of the appeal is currently being set in cooperation with the some 30 local and international relief agencies providing services to Syrians, the UNHCR official noted that the figure is expected to surpass 100 million.
The aid plea comes amid an ongoing "gap" in commitments to a 80 million fund launched by the UN in late March to support refugee host countries, 40 million of which was earmarked for Jordan.
As of earlier this month, donor countries and institutions had followed through on less than 50 per cent of their aid pledges.
The funds are needed to sustain basic services provided by relief agencies such as food aid, medical care and psycho-social support services as well as to support host countries such as Jordan that have granted Syrians access to public healthcare and education.
Jordanian officials in recent weeks have repeatedly highlighted the stress the growing refugee community is placing on the country's limited resources, with the spike in water demand alone costing the country 14,000 each day.
Despite the increased burden, the government has pledged to continue an open-border policy that has led to the entry of over 125,000 Syrians since March 2011, amid claims by Syrian opposition groups that Amman has started to "turn back" and deport refugees.
Authorities have, however, tightened entry requirements for Syrian expatriates arriving from third countries in recent weeks out of fear of non-vulnerable Syrians "taking advantage" of Jordan's hospitality.
According to the UNHCR, the total number of registered Syrian refugees in Jordan has passed 25,500 and is expected to reach 30,000 by the end of the month.
UN officials acknowledge that the number of registrations is unrepresentative of the total number of vulnerable Syrians in Jordan, which various estimates place at around 50,000.