Syrian refugees also in crisis?

Syrian refugees in their temporary home at the Syria-Lebanon border. Neighboring country Jordan has received praise for accepting thousands of Syrian refugees. Photo by: Mustafa Öztürk / IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation / CC BY-NC-ND

The plight of the Syrian people isn’t getting any better — even on the other side of the fence.

Neighboring country Jordan has received praise for accepting thousands of Syrian refugees despite having its own troubles. In fact, the United States announced additional budget support to the Middle East nation last week, a part of which is to aid Jordan in providing for the needs of refugees.

But just like any country, Jordan seems bent not to let the revolution in Syria cross its borders. There are reports Jordanian authorities have increasingly become strict with refugees, particularly of Syrian activists.

A once-imprisoned Syrian now taking refuge in Jordan had been warned by intelligence agents of deportation if he engages in “conspicuous activism” inside the country, The New York Times reports. On another occasion, a Syrian activist, named Omar al-Hariri, was allegedly sent back.

“There are some cases where concerned authorities see that they should prevent the entry of certain people into Jordan,” government spokesman Sameeh al-Maitah told NYT.

But these episodes are not always the case. Many Syrians have reported of being “rescued” by Jordanian officials on the border — some under hot pursuit by the Syrian army, NYT reports.

Perhaps Jordan’s moves only reflect a growing anxiety in the region, brought about by the Syrian crisis, which other neighboring countries are also experiencing. Early July, Lebanon suspended treatment for wounded Syrians, citing budget constraints as a reason for the decision.

But humanitarian needs of both Syrians inside and outside the country continue to rise, hence the need for more aid and, perhaps, more compassion from neighbors. Syrian opposition members who met with Canadian foreign affairs minister John Baird Wednesday (July 25) asked the Western nation to increase its humanitarian aid to $25 million, Postmedia News reports.

“We are willing to give Foreign Affairs the different channels and the different ways to get this relief, and this money and this humanitarian aid inside Syria, because they desperately need it,” Faisal Alazem of the Syrian Canadian Council said in a news conference.

Baird did not drop any pledges, but said Canada “can and wants to do more.”

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About the author

  • Ravelo jennylei

    Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.