Jordan: UNHCR says money for Syria refugees running low


Mohammed, a 27-year-old wounded Syrian brought to Jordan for medical treatment, sits on his hospital bed after undergoing a surgery at the Red Crescent medical institution in Amman on February 12, 2012.


Khalil Mazraawi

BEIRUT, Lebanon — The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said Sunday that Jordan is struggling under the pressure of "tens of thousands" of Syrian refugees, Agence France Presse reported

The uprising and violence in Syria, which has killed over 9,000 people according to the last United Nations estimate, has pushed tens of thousands of refugees into neighboring Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. Jordan, which has a storied history with refugees, most recently allowed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi "guests" into the kingdom following the American-led invasion and sectarian violence of the past decade. 

The Jordanian government estimates that up to 100,000 Syrians have fled into the kingdom. In March, the United Nations asked for $84 million to care for Syrians fleeing the violence that began one year before. The kingdom's public debt stands at $21 billion.

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"Jordan has always been generous to refugees. Neighboring and other friendly countries should help the kingdom cope with the Syrian refugees," the UNHCR representative in Jordan told the country's prime minister, according to the news wire. Unlike other countries, Jordan opens its hospitals and schools its refugee population.

NPR reported that the country tries to welcome the "guests" - its term for refugees - but is hindered by limited resources. The report said the Jordanian Army welcomes Syrians crossing into the country with water and a promise of safety.

Last Saturday, Jordanian officials accused Syria of firing onto Syrians fleeing across the border into Jordan, according to Haaretz. Near the town of Naseeb, one person was killed and "dozens" were hurt.