Jordan - The European Union (EU) and IOM have handed over 23 vehicles to the Jordanian Border Guards to transport Syrian refugees from the border to camps as part of an EU-funded project to help the Jordanian authorities cope with the impact of the Syrian crisis.
The handover ceremony was held at the Border Guards’ Zarqa Headquarters and was attended by EU Ambassador to Jordan Dr. Joanna Wronecka, IOM Director General William Lacy Swing and Jordanian Brigadier General Saber Mahayra.
The vehicles, which include six large buses, six minibuses, eight pickups and three ambulances, will assist the Border Guards in dealing with the influx of refugees, who continue to enter Jordan in large numbers.
"This EU action aims to support the Government of Jordan's open-border policy, as well as sharing the responsibility of responding to the Syrian crisis between the (Jordanian) government and the international community," said Dr. Wronecka.
The donation was the outcome of EU-funded workshops organized by IOM that allowed the Border Guards to identify their critical needs. They asked for civilian vehicles in which to move the refugees. The workshops will continue over the coming months to ensure that the funding remains responsive to the evolving situation on the ground.
The 23 new vehicles will replace the Border Guards’ own trucks, which were never designed to transport civilians and are now dilapidated after two years of intensive use on rough border terrain.
“This EU contribution will provide more comfortable transport for the refugees, especially the injured, infirm, elderly, and children, while also relieving some of the strain on the Border Guards’ resources. It is good to see the international community stepping up to support the Jordanian Government, which has generously and patiently depleted its own resources to help refugees entering the country,” said IOM Jordan Chief of Mission, Davide Terzi.
IOM’s broader policy objectives will also be reinforced by the vehicle donation, building on an earlier EU-funded project: Enhancing Capacity Building in Migration and Border Management in Jordan (2008-2009).
The donation was part of a EUR 8 million project: Support to the Jordanian Border Guards in Provision of Humanitarian Assistance to Syrian Refugees Crossing the Syrian-Jordanian Borders signed by the EU and IOM Jordan in January 2014.
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