MENAFN - Jordan Times
Jordan- Gov't to keep Syrian refugees off populated areas
In this Wednesday, July 11, 2012 photo, Syrian refugee girls leave their trailer home at King Abdulllah gardens refugee camp in Ramtha, some 90 kilometres north of Amman (AP photo)
(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Syrian refugees residing at the Bashabsheh housing complex in Ramtha will move to the new camp in the northern town of Zaatari near the border city of Mafraq, 80km northeast of the capital, within one week, the premier said Monday.
The move is meant to prevent problems that might arise if camps were inside residential neighbourhoods, said Prime Minister Fayez Tarawneh, according to the Jordan News Agency, Petra.
A clash reportedly took place between Ramtha residents and refugees Monday (see story on page 3).
During a visit to the temporary Syrian refugee camps at the northern borders, Tarawneh checked on the Syrians and the services provided to them and listened to a briefing on the UN Refugee Agency's (UNHCR) process to register the refugees.
Accompanied by Interior Minister Ghaleb Zu'bi and HRH Prince Rashid, chairman of the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO), Tarawneh said the Kingdom is cooperating with the concerned international bodies to provide the refugees with their needs and protect Jordan and citizens at the same time.
Also on Monday, the premier visited the location allocated to establish emergency camps for Syrians in the Zaatari area and listened to a briefing by Prince Rashid on preparations taken to equip the camps.
Supervised by the JHCO, in cooperation with the UNHCR, the camps will start receiving Syrian refugees residing in Jordan soon.
Tarawneh paid a visit to the northern border and checked on the military forces' preparedness to prevent infiltration and smuggling, in addition to their humanitarian role in receiving refugees and securing them a safe passage to the camps.
The premier commended the role the armed forces and security personnel play in monitoring the border and protecting the country and citizens from any penetration, Petra reported.
"The government will not hesitate in taking any measure to safeguard the security of Jordan, while offering the needed assistance for Syrian refugees". We are closely monitoring the developments in Syria to prevent any social, humanitarian or security consequences on Jordan," Tarawneh said.
On Sunday, His Majesty King Abdullah expressed his satisfaction with the plans and procedures taken by the government to safeguard the country's northern border.
"It is our duty to protect citizens, but at the same time, we have to open our doors to our Syrian brother, and I'm very optimistic that the situation is moving in the right direction," the King added.
EU mulls boosting aid
Meanwhile, Agence France-Presse reported that the EU was mulling ways to boost humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees, including those hosted by Jordan.
Joining talks with their EU counterparts, the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Sweden called for more help for Syrians who had fled to safety into neighbouring Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq.
"We have to step up humanitarian assistance for the people fleeing," said British Foreign Secretary William Hague, as France's Laurent Fabius and Sweden's Carl Bildt demanded that the EU "do more" to help Syria's neighbours cope with the influx.
Brussels, meanwhile, announced it was increasing by 20 million euros (24 million) its emergency aid to Syrian refugees to a total of 63 million euros.
"Hundreds of thousands of Syrians are in a desperate situation," said the EU's commissioner for humanitarian aid, Kristalina Georgieva.
While 120,000 refugees from the conflict in Syria have been officially registered, the UNHCR believes the number of displaced is 10 times as big.
"One million people may have been forced to flee inside the country since the conflict began," the UN agency said last week.
A day earlier, Jordan and the US announced that Washington would grant Jordan an additional 100 million to help the Kingdom address its fiscal difficulties and continue its humanitarian services to Syrian refugees.
The special economic assistance was announced at a press conference held in Amman on Sunday by Planning and International Cooperation Minister Jafar Hassan and US Ambassador to Jordan Stuart Jones.
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