Over 80,000 refugees stranded in the desert at the border between Jordan and Syria are facing dire circumstances caused by shortages in food, water, and medical care.
Jordan closed its border to refugees following a suicide bombing on June 21, leaving the tens of thousands of refugees there exposed to the elements, including sand storms and searing heat, with limited resources.
Since the closure of the border, no medical services have been provided and no access to Jordan has been permitted even for the most serious of injuries. Aid agencies have limited access to the refugees, but have issued credible reports of newborn deaths; the deaths of women during childbirth; and increasing cases of preventable life-threatening conditions.
“The Obama administration must make it clear to the Jordanian government that these refugees must not be left to languish at the border, and that the U.S. is prepared to assist their processing and safe transfer,” said Tarah Demant, Senior Director with Amnesty International USA. “This is especially urgent given the fact that President Obama’s will be hosting a summit next month focusing on shared responsibility for the protection for refugees.”