(MENAFN - Jordan Times) The number of displaced Syrians in Jordan is now over 120,000, officials said Thursday, and more refugees are coming forward for humanitarian assistance.
According to an interior ministry source, who declined to be named, over 120,000 Syrians have entered Jordan since the launch of a military crackdown in March 2011, amid an ongoing exodus of "hundreds" of Syrians into Jordan each day.
All new arrivals are crossing into the Kingdom illegally, the source said, adding that the ongoing influx of refugees is forcing officials to consider opening additional so-called holding centres to avoid a housing crisis in the northern region.
Under the current system, security services transfer all new arrivals to these holding centres - a series of guarded residential compounds in the border city of Ramtha - to carry out extensive background checks.
Syrians' release from these centres hinges on a JD5,000 guarantee signed by a Jordanian national assuming full legal responsibility for their actions during their stay in the Kingdom - a stipulation that at times extends refugees' stay in the centres to several weeks.
Refugees 'on the rise'
Meanwhile, more vulnerable Syrians are coming forward for humanitarian aid, relief agencies say, with the UN reporting a surge in registrations pushing the total number of registered refugees to over 20,000.
According to the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), dozens of Syrians are registering with the agency each day, and at least 20,500 have done so thus far.
The rise in registrations, which guarantee displaced persons various legal rights and access to basic services, comes amid an ongoing UN outreach campaign and growing pessimism among the burgeoning refugee community over their ability to return to their homeland in the near future.
UN officials acknowledge that the number of registrations is unrepresentative of the total number of Syrians in need in Jordan, which various officials and aid agencies place at some 30,000.
Despite the ongoing rise in refugees, UN officials say donor countries and organisations have yet to meet an 80 million aid appeal launched by the UNHCR in March, 40 million of which is earmarked for Jordan.
Jordan follows an open-border policy, granting refuge to Syrians who cross into the Kingdom both legally and illegally.
Earlier this month, officials opened two additional holding centres to accommodate the influx of refugees, which has driven up rents in the northern region to over JD200 per month.