New refugee camp in Jordan as more Syrian refugees flee conflict

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Syrian refugees wait at a UNHCR distribution centre in Za’atri refugee camp in Jordan. [UNHCR/J.Tanner]

Jordan is to open a third refugee camp to host the ever growing number of Syrian refugees entering the country.

The camp to be located in Azraq nearly 100 kilometres east of the capital Amman will be able to accommodate up to 130,000 refugees.

The United Nations refugee agency UNHCR has welcomed the new camp saying it will help reduce the strain on Za'atari which is the main camp hosting Syrian refugees.

At present nearly 100,000 Syrian refugees live in Za'atari and according to UNHCR, the camp is close to its capacity.

UNHCR says the number of Syrian refugee crossing into Jordan has increased by half to an average of 600 people daily.

Spokesperson Adrian Edwards says preparations at the new camp are well underway.

"To date, over 2,500 shelters have been completed. These are rigid shelters not tents. This could accommodate the first 13,000 refugees initially. Roads have been built, sanitation provided for 30,000 people water distribution system is also in place. Two schools, playgrounds, child and adolescent friendly spaces are available. An initial health centre and hospital is ready. Once opened, the camp, will receive new arrivals from Syria and refugees already in the country willing to be reunited with newly arrived families."

Jordan is currently hosting nearly 585,000 Syrian refugees with up to 80 per cent of them leaving in urban areas throughout the country.

Patrick Maigua, United Nations, Geneva.

Duration 1:30″

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