VOICES FROM THE FIELDTHE IRC BLOG
Latest News from Syria: Record number of Syrian refugees cross into Jordan
July 3, 2012 by Ned Colt
|A Syrian refugee family, who like tens of thousands of others, fled in the darkness by foot to the safety of Jordan Photo: Ned Colt/IRC|
The United Nations refugee agency has confirmed to the International Rescue Committee that a record 974 Syrian refugees crossed into Jordan on Monday night. The typical number crossing daily ranges from 30 to 250.
While it’s uncertain what prompted the spike in crossings, with the crumbling of a U.N. brokered ceasefire and a following upsurge in violence, the security situation in Syria is deteriorating.
IRC deputy regional director Luan Meraku says the ongoing exodus means humanitarian needs will increase. “The vast majority of these refugees cross from Syria with nothing but the clothes on their backs. While they find safety in Jordan, most have no money, so must rely on humanitarian aid to survive.”
Estimates of the number of Syrians who’ve sought shelter in Jordan since the conflict began range from 30,000 to 110,000. The vast majority cross the desert border under cover of darkness to avoid Syrian security, then disappear into urban communities which line the Jordanian border.
The IRC has ramped up its aid efforts to meet the growing refugee needs. Last month we opened two primary care clinics in the border cities of Ramtha and Mafraq, where IRC Jordan medical staff provide both free treatment and medicine to those in need.