BEIRUT

Middle East

Syrian refugee influx too much to handle: Jordan

Newly-arrived Syrian refugee families receive food from the Jordanian military after they crossed the border from Tal Shehab city in Syria, Sept. 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

AMMAN: Prime Minister Fayez Tarawaneh said on Thursday the growing influx of Syrian refugees to Jordan was "beyond our capabilities," expecting even more to join the exodus.

"The numbers (of Syrian refugees) are becoming beyond our capabilities, beyond even our expectations and we expect more as things deteriorate in Syria," he told a joint news conference with visiting Cyprus President Demetris Christofias.

"We are shouldering a big burden in so many fields, especially water."

Jordan has said it needs $700 million in international aid to cope with an influx of 240,000 refugees from the conflict across the border in Syria.

There are currently 185,000 Syrians in Jordan, with around 26,000 in Zaatari refugee camp, north of Amman, that the UNHCR opened five weeks ago, according to the prime minister.

"I got some messages yesterday and today from our friends regarding the Syrian crisis and the daily needs for the refugees. I promised that I will convey them very soon to the leadership of the European Union for additional assistance to our friends in Jordan," Christofias told reporters.

Cyprus currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.

"Jordan has already received a large wave of refugees from Syria. The international community, particularly the EU, should extend every possible support to Jordan," said Christofias.

 

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