UN aid group: Situation in Syrian refugee camp is dire
February 09 2019 11:37 AM
Syrian children arrive to a refugee camp in Atimah village
Newly displaced Syrian children arrive to a refugee camp in Atimah village, Idlib province, Syria. File photo: September 11, 2018


A UN aid group warned on Saturday that the humanitarian situation is "quite dire" at a desert refugee camp in Syria where thousands of people are stranded.
"The humanitarian situation at Rukban is quiet dire. It's pure desert here, barely nothing grows," said Marwa Awad, a spokeswoman for the World Food Programme (WFP) in Syria. "This is one of the worst humanitarian situations I've seen," she told dpa.
 On Wednesday, the United Nations in collaboration with the Syrian Red Crescent dispatched its largest aid convoy in war-devastated war to thousands of refugees at the Rukban camp near the border with Jordan.
 "We don't have access, you can't go and bring aid and get back to them," Awad said. "We've doubled assistance because we don't know when we can come back," she added. The camp is located in southern Syria, 265 kilometres away from the capital Damascus, and is home to around 40,000 displaced Syrians.
Most of the refugees in Rukban fled areas in eastern Syria that had fallen to the Islamic State extremist group and were trapped after Jordanian authorities closed the border. In June 2017, Jordan declared the Rukban area a military zone after an attack claimed by Islamic State targeted a nearby border post, killing six soldiers.

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