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Jordan builds camp for Syrian refugees

July 11, 2012 at 7:55 AM

AMMAN, Jordan, July 11 (UPI) -- A refugee camp is under construction in Zatari, Jordan, northeast of Amman, for Syrians fleeing the violence in their country daily, officials said.

The 5,000-person capacity camp, the first of its kind in Jordan, was being fitted with electricity and water and would be ready for inhabitants by the end of the week, Andrew Harper a U.N. Refugee Agency representative told Wednesday's Jordan Times.

"We are working to have the camp in place as soon as possible in case we see people enter in the thousands," Harper said. The United Nations estimates as many as 1,000 Syrians flee daily into Jordan.

"The last thing we want is people living in tents in the desert, but sometimes with a refugee crisis, this is the only choice," Harper said.

The mass influx of Syrian refugees has caused severe overcrowding in transit facilities where new arrivals undergo security checks, the paper said. Harper said the camp would serve as a residence for Syrian refugees to alleviate the burden the 140,000 Syrian refugees have placed on Jordan.

"For over a year Jordan has received Syrians with dignity and has provided them with services, but at the end of the day there are only so many people host communities can absorb," Harper said.

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