China Helps Syria

As thousands of Syrian refugees continue to flood into Jordan, China contributed 200,000 U.S. dollars to International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) operation to provide medical aid and transport from the border to Za’atari refugee camp, an IOM spokesperson said on Friday.

Za’atari now houses over 60,000 people, spokesperson Jumbe Omari Jumbe told a press briefing in Geneva. IOM bus convoys, which run between the border and the camp 24/7, transport anywhere between 3,500 and a few hundred refugees daily.

Numbers peaked Thursday morning, with 3,581 people boarding IOM buses. In the past week, IOM buses have picked up some 18,345 Syrian refugees at the border.

The increase may be partly due to intensified conflict in southern Syria. It may also be partly due to better weather and an end to the winter storms that have blanketed the region in snow for several weeks.

According to UNHCR, some 200,000 Syrian refugees have entered Jordan since the beginning of the Syrian civil war in March 2011. The Jordanian authorities believe the number is closer to 250,000.

Jordan plans to open a second camp at Zarqa next month to cope with the rising inflow of refugees and reduce over-crowding in Za’atari.

A major humanitarian donor conference to raise funding for Syrian refugees in neighboring countries and internally-displaced people inside Syria is scheduled to take place in Kuwait on Jan. 30.

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