July marks lowest inflow of Syrian refugees into Jordan in nearly a year
An aerial view shows the Zaatari refugee camp on July 18, 2013 near the Jordanian city of Mafraq, some 8 kilometers from the Jordanian-Syrian border. (AFP/MANDEL NGAN/POOL)
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An average of 100 Syrians have crossed into Jordan each day over the past week, setting July in pace for the lowest monthly total of entries in nearly a year, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) said on Monday.
The drop has sparked rising concerns among relief officials of a “mass build-up” of hundreds of Syrians unable to cross into Jordan.
“All signs in Syria indicate that we should be seeing the number of those fleeing to host countries rise, and we are seeing some of the lowest numbers in months,” UNHCR Representative in Jordan Andrew Harper said.
“We are very concerned that those in need of protection are being prevented from crossing ito Jordan,” he said.
Syrian rebels attribute the drop to rising violence across southern Syria, as Damascus intensified its ongoing bombing campaign that closed off main access routes to the border area for the 15th straight day.
According to residents of the border region and Syrian activists, the violence stranded some 7,000 displaced Syrians along the border, many of whom have been left without food or shelter for over one week.
“We are running out of food and shelter, and hundreds of families are arriving each day,” said Ahmad Al Saad, an activist with the Local Coordination Committees in the border town of Tal Shihab, which has reportedly witnessed an influx of some 1,000 displaced refugees over the past week.
Jordan has opened its borders to over 560,000 Syrians since the onset of the conflict on March 2011.
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