Iraq + 1 more

FHI aids refugees from Iraq conflict 21 Mar 2003

News and Press Release
Originally published
FHI has already helped nearly 700 refugees at a transit camp in Jordan, fleeing hostilities in Iraq.
FHI has sent cash and personnel to a "transit camp" for refugees who lived and worked in Iraq, but who are not citizens of either Iraq or Jordan. These people are called third-country nationals (TCNs).

Because the Jordanian government will not allow either TCNs or refugees with Iraqi citizenship to move freely through Jordan, officials have established two camps at the border -- one to accept Iraqi citizens and the other to help TCNs on their journey home.

The Jordanian Red Crescent, in co-operation with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), is managing the TCN camp. They are being assisted by members of the Jordanian Evangelical Committee for Relief and Development (JECRaD), a body of representatives from Christian churches and para-church organisations within Jordan.

FHI's role thus far has been to provide cash resources and experienced relief personnel to assist in programme planning and distribution management. FHI and JECRaD will provide three nutritious meals per day to all TCN camp residents until they are able to leave again, with IOM's help. IOM has estimated most camp residents will be on their way home within 48 hours.

Camp officials yesterday said most of the people appeared to be in good health, with respiratory infections and exhaustion being the biggest concerns. Approximately 20 percent of those passing through the camp are children.

The TCN camp is located in Jordan, near Ruweshid, about 50 km (31 mi) from the Iraqi border and 350 km (217 mi) from Amman. The camp is surrounded by harsh desert terrain where night time temperatures are falling below 0=B0 C (32=B0 F).

Most of the refugees on the first day of operation were from Sudan, but other nationalities included Egyptians, Yemenis, Somalis, Chadians and Eritreans, according to the IOM.

While final numbers could vary, the Jordanian Red Crescent and IOM estimate the camp will serve 50,000 to 60,000 refugees in the next one to two months.