Jordan to open fresh holding facilities for Syrian refugees
Relief agencies say influx of refugees now more than 500 a day; Amman has so far resisted opening official refugee camps out of fears of Damascus interpreting humanitarian aid as official support for rebels.
Jordanian authorities were preparing Monday a series of new holding facilities near the border with Syria to deal with a rising influx of refugees, which relief agencies say have now surpassed 500 a day.
Jordanian authorities and local NGOs are preparing some 200 trailers in the border city of Ramtha, to house some 1,000 Syrians, The number of refugees has increased since the implementation of a United Nations-brokered ceasefire last week.
The compound - funded by the Amman-based Kitab Al Sunna Society - is to serve as a "transfer facility".
"The situation is getting to the point that holding centers are overflowing with families and authorities have simply run out of space," said Ziyad Hamad, Kitab Al Sunna's director.
Last week Jordanian authorities transferred 400 refugees to a makeshift camp at a football stadium in the border city, some 90 kilometers north of Amman, which currently serves as a temporary holding facility.
The move comes as a bid to reduce pressure on a housing complex in Ramtha that has so far served as the main processing centre for Syrian refugees, and currently houses some 3,000 refugees.
According to an Amman government source, officials are currently studying locations with a view to open more holding facilities in the border region.
Despite the rise in Syrians fleeing to Jordan - which according to officials have surpassed 100,000 since the beginning of the crisis last March - Amman has so far resisted opening official refugee camps out of fears of Damascus interpreting humanitarian aid as official support for rebels.