Jordan calls for help with Syrian refugees
AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan called on Tuesday for international help with a sudden influx of refugees fleeing escalating violence in southern Syria.
The U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) said the pace of Syrian refugees reaching Za'atri camp in northern Jordan had doubled, with 10,200 arriving in the last week, heralding what could be a bigger movement.
"This crisis is beyond the resources that are being extended by us or the efforts of the UNHCR or other humanitarian bodies," said Jordan's Minister of State for Information Samih Maaytah.
"It needs an international programme and response," the cabinet minister told Reuters.
There are nearly 70,000 Syrian refugees registered or awaiting registration in Jordan, although thousands more have not signed up for assistance, according to the U.N. refugee agency.
Residents of Syria's southern city of Deraa said army shelling of the restive old quarter in the last five days had sent thousands of civilians fleeing.
"Every time there is pressure on southern Syria, the pressure intensifies more on our front. We are being burnt by the impact of this crisis in a direct manner," Maaytah added.
(Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Matthew Tostevin)
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