Jordan foreign minister appeals against reducing aid for Syrian refugees

Donors to hold conference on humanitarian support for Syria in Brussels next week

Syrian children stand at Zaatari refugee camp, north Jordan, 19 November 2021. EPA
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International support for Syrian refugees in Jordan is undergoing a "noticeable retreat," Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said on Monday.

"The refugees cannot [become] the sole responsibility of the host countries. We cannot bear more," Mr Safadi said before a Syria donor conference in Brussels.

"There has been noticeable retreat in the international support for the refugees. We hope that this conference will produce practical steps to provide support."

He was speaking after meeting Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto in Budapest.

Unless UN organisations keep up their services, "the refugees will suffer and we as host countries will become bearers of the burden", Mr Safadi said.

He said the World Food Programme would cut support for 10,000 Syria refugees in Jordan.

There was no immediate comment from the WFP.

The UN agency last year cut food stipends to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan by a third, partly due to aid requirements from the war in Ukraine,

There are 760,000 registered Syrian refugees in Jordan, the UN says.

On June 14, the EU will hold its seventh conference on "supporting the future of Syria and the region" in Brussels.

Among the issues that will be discussed is what the group calls Syria's "humanitarian and resilience challenges".

Syrians started to flee the country in 2011, after a revolt in March of the same year against President Bashar Al Assad, who has ruled since 2000.

In 2014, Jordan closed its borders in front of the refugees as civil war swept Syria.

In Geneva last month, Mr Safadi said after meeting UN officials that Jordan has “exceeded its capacity” to deal with Syrian refugees, although they should not be forced to return home.

Updated: June 05, 2023, 10:56 PM