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

  • Mudslinging continues as B.C. election nears halfway mark

    Canada News CTV News
    VANCOUVER - Leaders of British Columbia's main political parties are continuing to take shots at each other's election promises and past performances as the campaign nears the halfway mark. NDP Leader John Horgan hosted a campaign rally in Vancouver on Sunday, where he told the crowd that Liberal Leader Christy Clark is working for her donors, not for the average British Columbian. Source
  • South Korea, allies brace for North Korea follow-up act

    World News CTV News
    SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of -- Fresh off an immense North Korean parade that revealed an arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles, rival South Korea and its allies are bracing for the possibility that Pyongyang's follow-up act will be even bigger. Source
  • 'This is where I want to be': Canadian woman on fighting ISIS in Syria

    World News CTV News
    A B.C. fashion model-turned-freedom fighter is speaking out about her decision to rejoin the fight against ISIS in Syria. Hanna Bohman, 48, has travelled to Syria twice. She returned to Vancouver in June, 2016 after rejoining other foreigners in a faction of Kurdish fighters. Source
  • N.L. fisherman's hunger strike ends in hospitalization

    Canada News CTV News
    A Newfoundland fisherman’s hunger strike ended Sunday with an ambulance taking him to hospital, though his supporters say their fight is far from finished. “I almost lost my son there today,” Richard Gillett’s father, John Gillett, told reporters on Sunday. Source
  • Venezuelans struggling in U.S. as home country implodes

    World News CTV News
    MIAMI -- People crowd outside a church near Miami's international airport, chatting about family and friends left behind in Caracas, Valencia and Maracaibo as they wait more than an hour to receive rice, beans, yogurt and other food for their families. Source
  • Changes at passport offices due to terrorism concerns

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    OTTAWA — The federal government has been quietly making changes to passport offices in a bid to improve security and address concerns that the facilities could be easy targets for a terrorist attack. Civil servants in passport and other government offices have for years faced bomb threats, and hostility from individuals who are disgruntled, drunk or suffering mental illnesses. Source
  • Student killed during hammer throw at track meet

    World News Toronto Sun
    WHEATON, Ill. — A college student has died after being struck during a hammer-throw event at a track meet in suburban Chicago. Wheaton College officials say 19-year-old student Ethan Roser of Cincinnati was volunteering at a track and field competition at the school Saturday when he was accidentally struck by a hammer. Source
  • Obama meets with at-risk youth ahead of Chicago speech

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Former President Barack Obama met Sunday with at-risk young men and boys in his hometown of Chicago before his first major post-presidency speech. The former president spent time at a roundtable with youth from theorganization Chicago Create Real Economic Destiny located in the Roseland/Pullman neighbourhood in South Side Chicago where Obama started as a community organizer at age 25. Source
  • Police stop 12-year-old boy from driving across Australia

    World News Toronto Sun
    SYDNEY, Australia — Outback police have arrested a 12-year-old boy who was almost a third of his way toward driving solo across Australia. The unlicensed boy had driven more than 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) from his home in Kendall on the east coast when he was stopped by traffic police on Saturday on the Barrier Highway near the remote mining town of Broken Hill because a bumper bar was dragging on the road, a police statement said on Sunday. Source
  • Police stop 12-year-old boy who drove 1,300 km across Australia

    World News CTV News
    SYDNEY, Australia - Outback police have arrested a 12-year-old boy who was almost a third of his way toward driving solo across Australia. A police statement said on Sunday the unlicensed boy had driven more than 1,300 kilometres from his home in Kendall on the east coast when was stopped by traffic police on Saturday on the Barrier Highway near the mining town of Broken Hill because a bumper bar was dragging on the road. Source