With the increasing acts of violence and siege of cities in Syria, the number of people who have to flee their houses has rapidly increased.
Syrians who flee cities such as Homs, Hama and Daraa in particular take refuge in Jordan. Osman Atalay, a member of the IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation’s executive board, who went to Jordan to coordinate relief efforts, said the number of Syrian refugees in the country is around 85,000.
Stressing that Jordan has been receiving Syrian refugees mostly over the past two months, Atalay said: “Along with Turkey and Lebanon, Jordan is one of the countries receiving Syrian refugees most; however, Jordanian authorities were not making a statement about the number of Syrian refugees so far. Now, they say the number of Syrian refugees in the country is around 85,000. Most of these people are Syrians who had to flee Homs, Hama and Daraa. Syrian refugees mostly reside in Amman, Mafraq and Ramsa. Yet, a refugee camp has not yet been set up for them. Syrian refugees in Jordan stay at houses they rent for $150-200.”
Atalay said IHH has been providing relief to Syrian refugees in Jordan adding that around 3,500 families are in need of constant aid. He said Syrian families did not take much with them when they left their homes due to the violence in the country. “As the IHH, we have been carrying out relief efforts over the past 10 days for Syrians who have taken refuge in Jordan. Syrians rent houses here because a refugee camp cannot be established for them out of security reasons; however, their houses lack the fundamental kitchen utensils, food, blankets etc.”
Atalay said Jordan authorities have set a place to establish a refugee camp for Syrians but they have not yet taken any step to this effect out of security and political reasons. He said Jordan is giving priority to the education of the children of Syrian refugees while the non-governmental organizations and charity givers meet the needs of Syrian refugees for food and healthcare. “Regarding the needs of Syrian refugees for food and healthcare, the Jordanian government is taking certain steps to this effect. We have found out that 3,500 families are in need of constant aid. The Syrians’ need for food and healthcare are met by relief organizations,” he said.
Another country where Syrians have taken refuge is Lebanon. Many people particularly those injured in attacks in Syria have taken refuge in Lebanon seeking urgent treatment. Lebanese people who live alongside the Syrian-Lebanese border open their houses to the Syrians who take refuge in the villages on the border in small groups out of security concerns.
Syrians who have taken refuge in Lebanese villages out of concerns of security and deportation cannot stay at refugee camps or tent cities. Lebanese state does not treat people as refugees and does not provide them with some relief even in the short term. Syrian refugees try to live in empty houses or buildings or near Lebanese families. Heavily injured Syrians who are in need of urgent medical care are being sent to Tripoli, which is the closest and safest city. It is reported that there are 500 Syrians refugees in Lebanon now who wait for immediate medical care.