U.S. gives Jordan $100 million to help host Syrian refugees


A top U.S. official said on Sunday that Washington has given $100 million in aid to Jordan to help host tens of thousands of Syrians who have fled the unrest back home and taken refuge in the kingdom.

U.S. ambassador to Jordan, E. Jones, said that the U.S. aid will also help Jordan meet its growing energy needs in light of the repeated cut-offs occurring from unstable gas supplies from Egypt.

He said the aid will address “the strains on the national budget as a result of the repeated disruption of the Egyptian natural gas, and especially the added cost of providing services and basic commodities to those fleeing the appalling violence in Syria.”

“Nowhere outside of Syria are the effects of the Syrian regime’s violence felt as acutely as in Jordan,” he said at a joint news conference with Jordanian Planning Minister Jaafar Hassan.

The latest aid comes over and above the $660 million approved by Washington in December as military and economic aid to Jordan, which has received $2.4 billion from Washington in the past five years.

Debt-ridden Jordan, a major beneficiary of U.S. aid, is hosting more than 140,000 Syrians, and the kingdom is building more camps to house the refugees.

The energy-poor country has expressed concerns that cuts in gas supplies from Egypt could cost the kingdom more than $2 billion dollars in 2012.

Attackers on Sunday blew up a gas pipeline in Egypt’s Sinai used to export fuel to Israel and Jordan, the 15th such attack since 2011.