Some 45,000 Syrians living in a refugee camp in the Syrian desert near the Jordanian border need critical access to basic services as winter months approach, the United Nations warned on Wednesday.
UNICEF said there is only one UN-supported clinic near the border inside Jordan providing basic health services for urgent lifesaving cases at Rukban refugee camp.
‘More sophisticated health care is required,’ said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director, warning that the situation will worsen in the winter ‘especially when temperatures dip below freezing point in the harsh desert conditions.’ A 5-day old boy and a 4-month old girl have died in Rukban in the past 48 hours, according to UNICEF.
‘The two children in Rukban are among many, many children in Syria and the region who died in a conflict that they have absolutely no responsibility for. Their lives have been cut short, their families forever broken in grief,’ Cappelaere said.
UNICEF appealed to all parties to the conflict in Syria to facilitate access to basic services including health for children and families.
‘This is the very minimum for human dignity,’ Cappelaere said.
Thousands live under harsh conditions in the Rukban camp, located in a remote area of the Syrian desert.
Most of the refugees there fled areas in eastern Syria that had fallen to the Islamic State extremist group, and were trapped after Jordanian authorities closed the border.
In June 2017, Jordan declared the Rukban area a military zone after an attack claimed by Islamic State targeted a nearby border post, killing six troops.
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