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

  • Mexico identifies 56 sets of human remains in mass grave

    World News Toronto Sun
    MEXICO CITY — Prosecutors said Sunday that 56 sets of human remains have been identified in a jumble of bone fragments found at a burial pit in Mexico’s northern border state of Nuevo Leon. State prosecutors said the pit was discovered in February 2016 on a rural hillside in Garcia, near the northern city of Monterrey. Source
  • Canada poised to deport serial rapist

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    Authorities in Malaysia are on alert as Canada gets set to deport an unrepentant serial rapist back to his homeland. The Ottawa-based High Commissioner of Malaysia is taking the “necessary action” regarding Selva Kumar Subbiah, spokesman Dzulkefly Abdullah said in an e-mail, without elaborating. Source
  • 'An awakening' for Canadians attending U.S. women’s marches

    Canada News CTV News
    Canadian women who attended women's marches in the United States on Saturday say the events have left them feeling inspired. Busloads of Canadians from Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and other cities crossed the border Friday and Saturday to attend the anti-Donald Trump marches, including a major one in Washington, D.C. Source
  • Trudeau cabinet kicks off Calgary retreat with talk of Trump, security

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues have arrived in Calgary for a three-day retreat to ready themselves for the realities of governing in the Donald Trump era, and to hear from experts who they've tapped to help guide them through a potentially tumultuous time with the new U.S. Source
  • Canada not the focus of Trump's NAFTA talk, ambassador says

    Canada News CBC News
    Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his cabinet colleagues have arrived in Calgary for a three-day retreat to ready themselves for the realities of governing in the Donald Trump era, and to hear from experts who they've tapped to help guide them through a potentially tumultuous time with the new U.S. Source
  • 1 dead, multiple injured in Texas mall shooting

    World News Toronto Sun
    SAN ANTONIO — A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ended with shots fired on Sunday, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead, three others shot and another two people taken to hospital with non-shooting injuries, police and fire officials said. Source
  • Experienced skier killed in B.C. avalanche

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    NELSON, B.C. — Police say a woman from Anchorage, Alaska was the victim of fatal avalanche near Nelson, B.C. RCMP say the 32-year-old was skiing with two others near Qua Peak in the southern part of the province on Saturday morning. Source
  • Trump, amid combative start, pledges to rise to moment [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Sunday offered a scattershot response to the sweeping post-inauguration protests against his new administration, sarcastically undermining the public opposition and then defending demonstrators’ rights a short time later. “Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn’t these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly,” tweeted Trump, at 7:51 a.m. Source
  • One dead in Texas mall shooting

    World News CTV News
    Authorities in San Antonio say one person is dead and five others have been injured after two men robbed a jewellery store in a San Antonio shopping mall. Police Chief William McManus said that after the two suspects fled the store on Sunday, one of them fatally shot a "good Samaritan" who tried to stop them. Source
  • One dead, 5 injured in Texas mall shooting

    World News CTV News
    SAN ANTONIO -- A robbery inside a San Antonio shopping mall ended with shots fired on Sunday, leaving one person who tried to intervene dead, three others shot and another two people taken to hospital with non-shooting injuries, police and fire officials said. Source