Japan grants Jordan money to help country cope with Syrian refugees

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Japan has granted Jordan one billion yen ($10.1 million) on Sunday to help the country, which is hosting hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees, Agence France-Presse reported.

“The grant seeks to ease the burdens that Jordan shoulders in hosting the Syrian refugees,” AFP quoted Jordan’s Planning Minister Ibrahim Saif as saying in a statement.

Saif added that the funds would be used to buy water and sewage tankers, as well as for waste management in communities hosting refugees.

Jordan has repeatedly called for more international aid to help it deal with the large influx of refugees.

On Sunday, Jordan’s King Abdullah II said his country will “take measures” to protect its interests if the Syrian refugee crisis was not resolved in a speech to the parliament.

“If the international community does not move quickly to help us shoulder the burdens of the Syrian crisis... Jordan is able to take measures to protect the interests of our people and country,” AFP quoted him as saying.

The kingdom is home to at least 500,000 Syrian refugees, including more than 100,000 in the northern Zaatari camp near the border, according to figures from the United Nations.

Lebanon needs help

Meanwhile, Lebanon, which hosts the largest number of Syrian refugees, is also seeking international help.

“Lebanon has opened its borders, opened its arms, and the international community owes it to Lebanon to do everything it can to help Lebanese society adapt to this,” Reuters quoted the head of the United Nations children’s Fund as saying.

Over 800,000 Syrians have their names registered as refugees in Lebanon, or are on the waiting list. Some Lebanese officials say there could be more the one million refugees in the country.

The World Bank has estimated that the influx of Syrian refugees will cost Lebanon about $2.6 billion over three years. Government-funded schools, which cater for the poorest third of the population, face being inundated with Syrians even if only a fraction of them enroll.

(With AFP and Reuters)