The number of people stranded at the border area between Syria and Jordan has continued rising. According to the Jordanian Border Guard Forces, more than 28 000 persons are around the crossing points of Ruqban and Hadalat on the eastern border compared to the 17 000 recorded in late January. The number of admissions to Jordanian territory is tightly controlled and remains low compared to the continuous new arrivals at the berm area from within Syria.
Humanitarian assistance is organized from the Jordanian border. However, there are mounting concerns about aid not reaching those most in need; particularly at Ruqban where the majority of those stranded concentrate. Asylum seekers increasingly report cases of theft, violence, and extortion at the hands of local groups from within Syria. Disorder and riots have become more frequent reflecting the stress and the inappropriate conditions under which people have been living in the remote desert area for several months now.
In addition, death cases continue being recorded regularly. The number of maternal and neonatal deaths is of utmost concern. UNHCR and partners are stepping advocacy with Jordanian authorities to evacuate pregnant women, particularly those in the late stages of pregnancy, on a priority basis. UNHCR is covering the cost of medical referrals to ensure that there are no financial impediments to the evacuation of those most in need. DG ECHO is supporting partners working at the berm area.