Saudi king orders 10 mln in spending on Syrian refugees in Jordan

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Saudi King Abdullah has ordered the spending of $10 million on Syrian refugees in Jordan, Al Arabiya TV reported on Friday.

Saudi Finance Minister Ibrahim al-Assaf also said that humanitarian assistance will reach Syrian refugees in Jordan Friday.

The kingdom pledging aids to Syrians came after the United Nations issued an urgent appeal for funds to help refugees in the northern Jordanian camp of Zaatari, home to 30,000 refugees, which was almost entirely flooded on Wednesday, with residents battling mud and sub-zero temperatures.

Freezing temperatures and floods since Sunday have claimed at least 11 lives across the region and exacerbated the plight of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees huddled in tented camps in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.

“The next 72 hours will be a critical test of our ability to meet the basic needs of children and their families at Zaatari,” AFP reported U.N. Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Jordan representative, Dominique Hyde as saying in a statement on Thursday.

The education ministry in war-hit Syria announced mid-term exams postponed until further notice as snow blanketed Damascus.

More than 600,000 Syrian refugees have fled to neighboring countries exposed to the storm. Many in Lebanon and Jordan were forced to move after their tents were flooded.

In Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, a makeshift camp of around 400 people was flooded and tents were wrecked when torrents of rain surged into the area.

“I call upon anyone who has a conscience. We want heaters for our children. Many people have moved into caravans to shelter their children from the cold and from the flooding. The living conditions are horrible,” Um Bilal, who was holding a bucket to empty water from her tent, told Reuters.