Jordan receives first group of Syrians at new refugee camp
Agence France Presse reported Monday that Jordan's third refugee camp in Azraq has received it first group of Syrian refugees ahead of its official opening that is scheduled for later this week.
UNHCR Jordan spokesman Ali Bibi told AFP, "A few hundred Syrian refugees started to arrive in Azraq camp this morning [ahead of the official inauguration of the camp that is scheduled for Wednesday]."
UNHCR's Jordan director Andrew Harper also tweeted similar news Monday, saying "While official opening of Azraq camp is on the 30th, the first 200 arrived this am."
The new camp is located approximately 100 kilometers (60 miles) form Jordan's capital, and it is hoped that its opening will relieve growing resource pressures on the Zaatari refugee camp that is now home to more than 100,000 refugees.
"Azraq can now take up to 50,000 people. In the future, with the help of the international community, Jordan and the U.N., we hope that it will take up to 130,000," Bibi said.
Over 100 kilometers of roads, two schools, a 130-bed hospital and a water distribution system have also been built inside the camp.
Jordan also houses nearly 4,000 refugees in a smaller refugee camp call Mureijeb Fhud.
More than 580,000 Syrians have registered with UNHCR as refugees in Jordan. However, many Syrians have not registered, particularly those living outside the camps. Only 20 percent of Jordan's refugee population lives in the camps, with the remaining 80 percent living in urban areas throughout the country, according to the UN.