U.N. boosts aid to Syrian refugees

Jan. 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, Jan. 12 (UPI) -- The United Nations said it is sending assistance to refugee camps along the Syrian border, where an unusual cold snap has brought new misery.

More than 612,000 Syrians experienced winter weather, including damp cold and flooding from overflowing streams.

"Many of those arriving have been barefoot, with their clothing soaked, and covered in mud and snow," Adrian Edwards, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, said in Geneva, Switzerland. "Refugees report discarding their belongings to carry their children through flooded countryside to Jordan."

The United Nations said it had shipped blankets to the region, along with gravel to raise the ground level and assist with drainage, the U.N. News Center said in a written statement.

The Za'atri camp in northern Jordan was particularly hard-hit with flooding last week. Edwards said he expected the ground to be dried out in the near future.

"Health services in Za'atri camp are all operational with mobile clinics covering the affected area in the camp, detecting medical cases in need of transfers to the camp hospital and treating primary healthcare patients on the spot," Edwards said.

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