Jordan on Saturday rejected any attempts to question its credentials when it comes to its response to Syrian refugees and called upon the international community to shoulder its fair share of the responsibility towards the Syrians stranded on the border, according to The Jordan Times.
The call came at a time when international agencies are increasing their appeals for allowing aid to be delivered to more than 85,000 Syrian refugees stranded at the makeshift camp in the no-man’s land between Jordan and Syria called Al Rakban.
The area was closed and declared a military zone after a deadly terrorist suicide bombing late June targeting a forward military post, killing seven soldiers and injuring 13 others.
“We do not accept anyone to question our credentials when it comes to Syrians. We are willing to send Syrian refugees on our borders to any country that might be able to host them…This is an international problem and Jordan is willing to help by taking its fair share of the responsibility but not its entirity,” said Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communication Mohammad Momani in remarks to The Jordan Times Saturday.
“The security of our nation is our top priority,” he said.
The minister said international organisations have several options to send aid to Syrians in need.
“We have always warned from security consequences of the increase in the number of refugees on our border.
According to our intelligence and security estimates, the camp has become a harbour for Daesh,” said Momani.
The Jordan Times reported, that the Human Rights Watch issued a statement, saying Jordan should immediately allow humanitarian agencies to resume life-saving aid deliveries to the Syrians, who it said were “stuck in appalling conditions”.
“Jordan should not be punishing Syrian children, women and men fleeing the same atrocities that killed Jordanian soldiers,” said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher and advocate at the Human Rights Watch. “Other countries should do all they can to help Jordan keep its border open to those in need.”
Calling on international NGOs and organisations to be accurate and objective in their reports, Momani said: “This is not solely our problem. This is the problem of the international community.
The direct cost of hosting Syrian refugees for the period of 2011 to 2016 is $7.1 billion, including education, electricity, water and subsidized products.
Support identified and requested for meeting government’s demands and host communities’ needs for 2012-2016 has been estimated at $11.5 billion, while the actual support received is $3.3 billion, said the minister, who noted that Jordan is home to 1.3 million Syrian refugees of whom 45 per cent are in the working age.