Last updated: 4 December, 2012

Over 250,000 Syrian refugees a burden on Jordan

Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur on Monday said Jordan is hosting more than 250,000 Syrian refugees, describing that as an “enormous burden” on the kingdom that neighbours war-ravaged Syria.

“The events in Syria are a huge burden for the kingdom which hosts more than 250,000 refugees,” Nsur told the cabinet, according to the official news agency Petra.

Hundreds of Syrians cross the border daily into Jordan, fleeing the fighting between troops of President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels in their country.

Violence in Syria has killed more than 41,000 people since the start of an uprising against the regime of Assad in March 2011, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based watchdog.

The Zaatari camp, near the Syrian border, itself hosts some 45,000 Syrian refugees, a Jordanian official said.

On Sunday, 243 Syrians entered Jordan, said Anmar al-Hammoud, head of the Syrian refugee cell in the Jordanian government, taking to 45,000 the number of refugees in Zaatari which is located in the province of Mafraq, 85 kilometres north of Amman.

The camp housed 42,000 when it opened in July.

To relieve the pressure on Zaatari, a new camp will be ready before the end of the year in Jordan to receive more Syrian refugees, authorities said.

The UN estimates that there are currently 460,000 refugees in neighbouring countries and North Africa, as well as another 20,000 in Europe.