'Mass migration': 6,000 Syria refugees flee to Jordan amid fears over border closures
More than 6,000 refugees crossed into Jordan on Wednesday, straining aid organisations' resources and raising concerns of a worsening humanitarian crisis.
At least 27,000 Syrian refugees had already fled to Jordan this month.
Most of the refugees in Jordan from the city of Dara’a and surrounding areas. But an intensification of violence in Dara'a province and the Damascene countryside has provoked what activists are calling a "mass migration." On Monday, the United Nations said more than 5,000 had arrived in 48 hours.
A relief worker, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the Jordanian army may have intermittently closed the border to refugees on Tuesday night due to the high influx of Syrians. At the time of writing, Al Bawaba was unable to confirm if the border had been closed.
Jordan said earlier in January it was considering closing the border if a massive refugee crisis was sparked by the fall of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Damascus.
Most refugees in Jordan fleeing the civil war in Syria live undocumented lives in cities such as Irbid and Ramtha, near Syria’s southern border. The UN Refugee Agency estimates there are more than 300,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan. At least 62,000 of those live in the weather-beaten Za’atari refugee camp near Mafraq.
To deal with worsening conditions and a lack of funds to pay for housing and basic aid supplies, Jordan is establishing a new camp near Zarqa. There are numerous smaller temporary camps in towns and cities near the border, such as in Ramtha park, where a family of seven burned to death after a heater set fire to their caravan last week.
Work began on the new camp near Zarqa is funded by donations from the United Arab Emirates, in October.