U.N. urges Syria’s neighbours to keep open borders to refugee exodus

Reuters reports: The United Nations on Friday urged Syria’s neighbours to keep open their borders to civilians fleeing the intensifying conflict and said that the refugee exodus into Jordan was “absolutely dramatic”.

More than 30,000 Syrians have arrived in Jordan’s main Zaatri camp this year, including 4,400 on Thursday and another 2,000 overnight, it said. Most were fleeing fighting in the southern area of Deraa, food and fuel shortages and high prices.

Turkey has said that camps are filling up as soon as they are built and officials in Jordan said this week it would keep its borders open but wanted other countries to help it boost its ability to cope with the influx.

“It is just absolutely dramatic the inflow of people that continues into Jordan,” Melissa Fleming, chief spokeswoman of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), told a news briefing in Geneva.

Jordan now hosts more than 206,000 Syrians who have registered as refugees or await processing, while the government says that more than 300,000 Syrians are actually in the country.

A further 30,000 Syrians could be preparing to head to Jordan, according to the UNHCR’s latest assessment.

Across the region, 678,540 Syrian refugees had registered or were being processed as of Tuesday, according to UNHCR figures for Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq and North Africa.

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