BEIRUT

Middle East

Jordan plans second camp for Syrian refugees

In this Thursday, Oct. 4, 2012 photo, Dominique Hyde, UNICEF's representative to Jordan, speaks to Syrian refugee children during the opening of the first school at the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Mafraq, Jordan. (AP Photo/ Raad Adayleh)

AMMAN: Jordan says it is planning to open a second camp for Syrian refugees, whose numbers are expected to climb to 250,000 by the year's end.

Government spokesman for Syrian refugee affairs Anmar Hmoud says the proposed site is at Marajeeb al-Fahood, 27 miles (44 kilometers) east of the capital Amman. He did not say when it would open.

The U.N. refugee agency says Jordan currently hosts 210,000 Syrian refugees - the largest number in the region. Those arriving through unofficial border crossings are housed in Zaatari camp, now home to more than 33,000 refugees. Many more live among Jordanian families.

Zaatari has seen violent protests over its harsh desert conditions in recent weeks.

Hmoud said Monday that the new camp could initially house 5,000 but expand to hold 45,000 residents.

 

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