International aid is scattered and camp is not connected to the outside world
Following the attack on the Rukban camp inside the Syrian territory on June 21, Jordan closed its borders officially along the 378km border with Syria. The suicide min truck attack led to the death of seven Jordanian border patrol guards. At the time Jordan declared the area a military zone causing the pilling up of refugees without the international aid organizations able to provide to them needed humanitarian aid.
Aid comes in sporadic waves to the Syrians who have set up refugee at Al Hadalat Camp which is very close to the Jordanian border. Syrians who fled from their homes due to the fighting in the south of Syria were trying to reach Jordan in search of security. Al Hadalat lies at the northern eastern Jordanian-Syrian borders near the Bedouin area named Hamad al Shami which is about 20km from the Jordanian borders. Syrians trying to enter Jordan meet in small encampments hoping to be able to cross at a later date.
Abu Abbas is a refugee who is now residing in Al Hadalat camp. He left his home with his family a year ago. Using a mobile phone he spoke to the author of this report about his predicament. He says that it took him four hours at the cost of 200 Syrian liras (less than one JD) to reach the Rukban camp in order to communicate with the outside world.
Another camper Muhammad says that he is part of a military faction of the Free Syrian Army that has been assigned to protect the camp. His unit is called Eastern Lion’s Army. Muhammad says that there is no internet connection for security reasons. He believes that because the camp is close to the army headquarters not having internet coverage actually protects the camp from the infiltration of ISIS or others.
There are a major difference in terms of the number of the refugees in Al Hadalat camp. Since the camp is not under Jordanian protection it is difficult to determine the exact number. UNHCR says that until the end of 2016 some 700-800 families were camping. It calculated about 4,941 refugees as of the beginning of this year.
A photo from the satellite of the UNITAR shows a decrease in the number of refugee tents at Al Hadalt camp in November 2016 to about 1,358 after the number has 2,132 a year earlier. On the other hand the report of UNHCR reveals that the number of refugee dwellings last March 2016 was 1,535 refugee. The report reveals that the UN agency has had a hard time reaching the Rukban and Hadalat camps because of security arrangements and weather conditions.
By last June a total of 12 children died in the Syrian camp. One child was allowed entry into Jordan but he died at a later date according to Dr. Abdel Aziz who says that different reasons are the cause of death but mostly it is the absence of medical supervisions. At least three children were diagnoses as having a deficit in the developmental hormones. Mothers who are pregnant get very little care and this has a way of affecting the new born, he said.
Dr. Abdel Azziz along with a midwife are responsible for all the births at this makeshift camp. Severe cases that require medical attention are brought across the border to Jordan including cases that require cesarean operation.
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Report funded by Journalists for Human rights