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Plan to deliver aid to border camp ‘in final stages’ — UN

By Khetam Malkawi - Oct 04,2016 - Last updated at Oct 04,2016

AMMAN — Negotiations are under way with the UN and international organisations to establish aid distribution centres inside Syria to provide aid to the refugees in Rakban camp, near Jordan’s border.

Mohammad Momani, minister of state for media affairs, told The Jordan Times that although the centres will be inside Syria, the aid could be delivered via Ramtha, north of Amman.

Once the aid is delivered to the Syrian side through Ramtha, international organisations will handle the distribution in coordination with community leaders, said the minister, who is also the government spokesperson. 

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan Edward Kallon said the plan was in its final stages, although he did not specify when aid deliveries were expected to begin. 

“We are in the process of finalising the implementation plan with the Jordanian Armed Forces,” Kallon told The Jordan Times. “As soon as the plan is completed, the implementation will begin.”

Jordan declared the northern and northeastern border areas a closed military zone in June in the aftermath of a terrorist attack that targeted a military post serving refugees near the border, killing seven troops and injuring 13 others.

Since then, Jordan has agreed with international relief agencies to allow a one-off aid delivery to the area in August, while global stakeholders were expected to seek alternative solutions to continue the mission. 

Members of the Tribal Council of Palmyra and Badia, a Syrian rebel group in charge of running the Rakban camp’s daily affairs, told The Jordan Times that children were most affected by the difficult conditions in the camp.

Thirteen children are currently in urgent need of medical care and two died last week, council members said. 

A medical committee of doctors in the camp diagnosed the children’s conditions and reports were sent to the UN and international organisations seeking assistance, they added.  

Jaundice and hepatitis are among the diseases spreading in the camp, according to the activists. 

Last week, international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said at least 59 war-wounded Syrians, including 11 children between the ages of 3 and 14, “have been denied medical evacuation into Jordan” over the past three months.

In a statement, the MSF said six of these 59 Syrians subsequently died. They “all required urgent medical evacuation” from Daraa in southern Syria to MSF’s emergency surgical project in Ramtha hospital in Jordan, “located less than 5km from the border”.

 

“With intense fighting continuing, MSF believes that the actual number of people in need of immediate medical evacuation is much higher,” the statement said. In response, Momani said Jordan admitted wounded and sick people based on field assessments and in coordination with international agencies.

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