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      Jordan: $700M Needed to House Syrian Refugees

      Jordanian officials told reporters Saturday they need $700 million to continue to house incoming Syrian refugees pouring across the border.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 9/2/2012, 4:14 PM

      Refugees registering at za'atari camp
      Refugees registering at za'atari camp
      Reuters

      Jordanian officials told a news conference Saturday they need $700 million to continue to house incoming Syrian refugees pouring across the border.

      "The cost for Jordan to continue to welcome our Syrian brothers … is almost $700 million, to take in over 240,000 residents and refugees at Za'atari camp and outside,” Ja'afar Hassan told journalists at a joint news conference held with UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency, on Saturday.

      Hassan, Jordan's Planning and International Cooperation Minister, said that 5,000 Syrians had crossed the border within a 24-hour period last week.

      Already, more than 180,000 refugees have arrived, and UNHCR representative Andrew Harper added that more are on the way.

      "I cannot see one positive indicator that would lead me to believe that the numbers are going to be reduced,” he told reporters.

      Both appealed to international donors for funds to help supply basic services for the new arrivals. The first refugee tent city in Jordan, the desert camp of Za'atari, has become home to 25,000 Syrian refugees.

      There are more than 200,000 Syrians who have crossed the borders of their country to escape to safety in other lands since the start of the savage civil war that began in March 2011.