Britain Assists Syrian Refugees in Jordan

British Prime Minister David Cameron announced yesterday that his country will donate 14 million pounds (17.5 million euros) to help Jordan attend to the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees seeking shelter there.

After meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah II, Cameron emphasized to the monarch, “the importance of stopping the violence and bloodshed and the urgent need for an agreement on a political transition to bring peace to the Syrian people,” according to a statement by the British embassy.

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“The king stressed the importance of preserving the unity of Syria, warning against the conflict’s catastrophic repercussion for the region,” it added.  Similarly, Cameron, who is on an official visit to several countries in the Middle East, showed the United Kingdom’s “understanding” of the situation along Jordan’s northern border with Syria, and reaffirmed its commitment to the security and stability of the Hashemite Kingdom.

Cameron visited the Zaatari refugee camp on Wednesday, located 85 kilometers northeast of Amman, which hosts more than 40,000 Syrians.  He promised the new donation following his visit, bringing total British financial aid to Jordan to 53.5 million pounds (67 million euros).

“Right here in Jordan I am hearing appalling stories about what has happened inside Syria so one of the first things I want to talk to Barack [Obama] about is how we must do more to try to solve this crisis,” the British Prime Minister said after hearing of the American President’s reelection.

On his visit, Cameron was accompanied by Jordanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh and by representatives of the UNHCR, the UN agency responsible for refugees.

According to Jordanian authorities, more than 236,000 Syrians have entered their territory to escape the violence in Syria since the start of the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011.  Efforts by the UN and others to collect aid to care for the refugees have seen lackluster success, putting a serious economic burden on the countries hosting the refugees.

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