Syrian refugee hosts meet in Jordan's Zaatari camp

Syrian refugee hosts meet in Jordan's Zaatari camp
Sun May 4, 2014 21:03:44

Foreign ministers of major refugee hosting countries attended a one-day meeting in the Zaatari refugee camp on Sunday (May 4) to discuss a resolution for the Syrian refugee crisis.

The meeting - the third for countries harboring the largest number of Syrian refugees - brought foreign ministers from Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq along with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Ant³nio Guterres, with the aim of discussing the struggles facing host countries in the region.

The ministers affirmed the importance of continued international support for the refugees and their host communities as well the dire need for increased international support.

"As I keep reminding, there is no humanitarian solution to the political crisis in Syria, there is a political solution that will end the humanitarian crisis and the humanitarian suffering," Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh said.

Jordan is one of Syria's four immediate neighbors, and along with Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq, was inundated with refugees fleeing the ongoing war.

Jordan now hosts close to 600,000 Syrian refugees.

A large number of those who seek refuge in Jordan are transported to Zaatari, which is home to around 130,000 Syrian refugees.

"There has been very little support, and there must be massive support from the international community, financial support," UNHCR Ant³nio Guterres said during the meeting.

Jordanian authorities are struggling to keep up with the increasing needs of the camp's residents and only a fraction of the hundreds of millions of dollars of international aid pledged to help the Syrian refugees has arrived.

A refugee from the Syrian town of Deraa was skeptical of the meeting's outcome.

"We have no expectations from this conference because we think it will neither cause harm nor benefit. My hope is that they will meet inside Syria because it is there that the real problem lies, and only through Syria and the Syrians will they be able to solve the crisis," said Firas.

The United Nations has recently launched its biggest appeal ever, calling for 6.5 billion US dollars in aid for Syria and the region.

Syria sank into war in March 2011 when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.


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