Jordan refuses to deliver aid for al-Rukban camp and calls to send it through Syria
Syria - SMART
On Monday, the Jordanin government refused to deliver aid through its border to the al-Rukban camp, 240 kilometers east of Homs, on the Syrian-Jordanian border. Jordan called to deliver the aid from Syria.
In a phone call with Geir Pedersen, the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Ayman Safadi, the Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates said that the decision was made under the pretext of protecting citizens against coronavirus (COVID19).
Safadi called on the international community to undertake its responsibilities towards refugees and provide necessary aid regarding COVID-19. Safadi added that the al-Rukban camp is the UN’s responsibility and that any humanitarian and medical aid should enter from Syria.
Safadi emphasized that Jordan will not allow any aid to enter the camp through its territories. Safadi added that Jordan will prevent any person in the camp from entering Jordan for whatever reasons, and that protecting citizens from COVID-19 is prioritized.
Earlier, displaced people in the al-Rukban camp complained about the absence of medical services due to siege imposed by the Syrian government forces, and closing Jordanian border.
On March 10, 2020, the Syrian government forces blocked the only way to the camp from Damascus through the Jleighem crossing. The Syrian government forces prevented the entry of food and medicine to force the residents to leave the camp for Syrian government-controlled areas. The camp is located in the so-called "Green Zone" that extends along 55 kilometers inside Syrian border. The United States-led International Coalition forces against the Islamic State control the zone.
Since October 2018, the Syrian government forces have imposed siege on the Rukban camp and prevented the entry of food and medicine. The administration of the camp appealed to organizations to deliver aid to 50,000 people in the camp. The people suffer amidst poor humanitarian conditions. Many children died due to the lack of medicine and medical care.