The worsening humanitarian consequences of the ongoing violence inside Syria.
“No-one wants to be in a tent in the desert” that’s what Andrew Harper, representative of the UNHCR here in Jordan, told me on my visit to the Kingdom’s first official Syrian refugee camp.
When I asked officials for directions the answer I was met with was “the desert”. Unfortunately for it’s new residents this is no exaggeration. Close to the Jordan Syria border, near the Northern Jordanian province of Al Mafraq, lay 2000 tents and little else.
Fleeing the escalating violence back home in Syria, increasing numbers of men, women and children are making the trecherous border crossing every day, often under fire. But when families arrive to their new home, the reality is not what they expected.
Dust battered and sun scorched Al Zaatari refugee camp is a tented facility already equipped to accomodate 10,000 displaced Syrians, eventually over 100,000 Syrian refugees might call these wind swept tents home.
Many refugees inside the camp did not want to appear on camera, fearing for the saftely of their relatives still in Syria, they did however want to tell me their harrowing stories of the fighting back home.
Unfortunately their plight is not over. One woman climbed into the back of my car, exhausted from walking across the expansive camp, against the sand and in the blistering heat, to refill her small water container. Once inside she broke down in tears and told me she’d rather be back in Syria.
The humanitarian crisis spilling over into Syria’s neighbouring countries is not getting any easier. The UNHCR told me of they fear worsening conditions as winter nears.
Watch my full interview with the UNHCR as Andrew Harper calls for the international community to “stop talking about their care and concern for Syrian refugees, and do something about it”.
Jessica Omari, Northern Jordan, @JessicaOmari