MORE than 6,400 Syrian refugees have arrived at Jordan’s Zaatari camp in the past 24 hours, the UN refugee agency says.
“Jordan has experienced a record number of refugees crossing,” UNHCR spokeswoman Melissa Fleming told reporters in Geneva on Friday, noting that 30,000 had arrived so far in January and December’s influx totalled 16,413.
The new arrivals bring the total population of the sprawling camp that opened last July to 65,000.
“Only yesterday (Thursday), 4,400 Syrian refugees arrived in Zaatari camp, and a further 2,000 arrived during the course of the night,” Fleming said.
“Staff in Zaatari are working day and night shifts to respond to the new arrivals and the growing needs of the refugees in the camp,” she said.
Fleming explained that most new arrivals were women, children and elderly and that conditions in the camp were difficult.
“It is with great sadness that we report the death of three refugee children this week” in the camp, she said, noting that a two-year-old and a two-month-old had died shortly after arriving at the camp, while a two-day-old baby died following an emergency delivery.
She said UNHCR was working with the Jordanian government to prepare a second major camp called the Halabat camp near Zaatari to take some of the pressure.