Jordan PM links Syrian refugee admissions to foreign aid

AZRAQ REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan -- Jordan's prime minister warned Saturday that it will be "very, very difficult" to keep absorbing Syrian refugees unless his country receives significant economic aid and easier access to European markets.

See Full Article

Abdullah Ensour made the link between refugee admissions and aid in unusually blunt comments Saturday, during a visit to the Azraq refugee camp. He spoke ahead of next week's Syria conference where pledges of some $9 billion are being sought for 2016 to alleviate the fallout from the five-year-old civil war.

The conflict has uprooted millions of Syrians, including more than 4 million who fled their homeland. Most live in overburdened regional host countries such as Jordan, which has taken in about 630,000.

Deteriorating conditions in the host countries driven by aid shortfalls have prompted hundreds of thousands of Syrians to move to Europe.

The upcoming aid conference in London will try to find ways to keep more refugees in the region, including by putting large numbers to work and making them less dependent on aid. Currently, most refugees are not allowed to work legally in Jordan and Lebanon, which face high domestic unemployment.

Ensour on Saturday warned of possible changes in Jordan's refugee policy.

"We have opened our borders," he said. "We will continue to do so provided that others come and help up help the Syrians ... I don't mean just sending cash or grants. I want them to help the economy at large, that's to say help the budget, help export ... our products because if these people (Syrians) have to join the industry, then the industry has to sell elsewhere."

If such support is not received, "then it would be very, very difficult for us to continue the way that we did in the past," he added.

Jordan and Lebanon have already tightened entry restrictions for refugees in recent months.

About 17,000 Syrians, including women and children, are stranded in rough conditions in a remote desert area on the Jordanian border, many already waiting for months to enter the kingdom. Jordan only lets in several dozen a day, citing the need for stringent security checks; officials say many of the refugees come from areas controlled by Islamic State extremists.

International aid agencies have called on Jordan to speed up security checks and move refugees to the Azraq camp, which stands largely empty.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Moroccan premier forms government, ending 5-month crisis

    World News CTV News
    RABAT, Morocco -- Morocco's new Prime Minister Saadeddine El Othmani has succeeded in building a governing coalition, ending a five-month political deadlock after just eight days in office. El Othmani, 61, of the Islamist Party for Justice and Development, or PJD, announced Saturday in a press conference in Rabat that an "agreement has been reached" with six political parties to form a coalition government. Source
  • Congolese militia decapitates more than 40 police officers

    World News CTV News
    BENI, Congo -- A Congolese militia group has decapitated 42 policemen after ambushing them in an increasingly violent region where the U.N. is searching for missing American and Swedish investigators, a local official said Saturday. Source
  • Suspect in fatal shooting on Las Vegas Strip surrenders after standoff

    World News CBC News
    The suspect in a fatal shooting on the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday surrendered to police after barricading himself inside a bus. The standoff began after a report of shots fired on Las Vegas Boulevard in the heart of the Strip. Source
  • Suspect shooting at passing trucks on B.C. highway: RCMP

    Canada News CTV News
    PRINCE GEORGE, B.C. -- RCMP say they've received numerous calls from truck drivers reporting that someone shot at their vehicles on a B.C. highway. Police say the incidents occurred over an eight-hour period starting Friday night on Highway 97 between Houston and 100 Mile House in the province's central and northern Interior. Source
  • 1 dead on Vegas Strip shooting, gunman barricaded on bus

    World News CTV News
    LAS VEGAS -- A gunman barricaded himself inside a bus Saturday along the Las Vegas Strip after a shooting that left one person dead, officials said. The attack prompted a partial closure of the busy boulevard. Source
  • Security, parking, garbage irk Ivanka Trump's D.C. neighbours

    World News CBC News
    ?Residents of a posh Washington neighbourhood say Ivanka Trump and her family don't make for very good neighbours, taking up much of the parking on an already crowded street and leaving trash bags at the curb for days. Source
  • Liberals must sell budget to premiers after 'challenging' health talks

    Canada News CBC News
    Liberal MPs stuck around Ottawa on a rare Saturday to hammer out a plan to sell their recent budget to the public in the coming weeks, but the government also will have to move past the bruising experienced during the health accord negotiations to get the premiers on board. Source
  • Elderly couple flying to Michigan taken to wrong gate, end up in N.Y.

    World News Toronto Sun
    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — A 96-year-old woman and an 89-year-old man were wheeled to the wrong gate at a South Florida airport and ended up on a flight to upstate New York instead of Michigan. Helen Wheeker and her husband, George Nobel, ended up Ogdensburg, N.Y. Source
  • Self-driving Uber SUV hits vehicle in Arizona

    World News Toronto Sun
    TEMPE, Ariz. — Officials say a self-driving Uber SUV was operating on its own when it was struck by another vehicle making a left turn at an intersection in Arizona, where the company is testing autonomous vehicles. Source
  • Woman ordered to return dog after taking off with pair of pooches post-breakup

    Canada News CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A woman who took off with two dogs she had shared with her ex-boyfriend has been ordered to return one of the pooches after a bitter ownership dispute. Matthew MacDonald told a Nova Scotia small claims court that he purchased the Yorkshire terriers while he was living with his "on-again, off-again" girlfriend Brittany Pearl in Fort McMurray, Alta. Source