Novel Way to Deliver Aid to Sick Refugees on Jordan Border

Cranes may soon be delivering food, supplies to desperate camp residents
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2016 3:54 PM CDT
Refugees on Jordan Border May Finally Get Supplies Via Cranes
In this June 22, 2016, file photo, Syrians walk through a refugee camp in Jordan's northeast border with Syria.   (AP Photo/Abu Adel, File)

Since mid-2014, about 75,000 Syrian refugees have been in limbo in the "berm"—what the Guardian describes as the "no-man's land" at the border between Jordan and Syria. And since June of this year, those refugees have been living in what Doctors Without Borders has called "some of the most extreme conditions on Earth," enduring temperatures over the summer that surpassed 120 degrees Fahrenheit and watching humanitarian supplies and food come to a halt in June after Jordan cut off deliveries following a car bomb. But government spokesman Mohammad Momani told the Jordan Times on Sunday that while the borders remain sealed, a new method of delivery will be used: cranes that will lower the goods from the northeastern side of the border to the other side (there was a one-off delivery like this in August). And it sounds like the aid is coming just in time.

Per the AP, the refugees are living in tents and suffering not only from hunger and exposure to the elements, but also from serious illness, including whooping cough and hepatitis. Last month, Amnesty International released chilling video footage and satellite images that showed graves and burial mounds in the berm, per the Washington Post. "Many people have died," a refugee living in one of the camps told the group, saying conditions were "awful." "The mood among the people … is below zero." Two anonymous aid officials tell the news agency there's been no final confirmation, but Momani says the plans are being put in place to expedite the deliveries. "The aid will be given to community leaders of groups of Syrians so they can distribute it accordingly," he says, noting the aid groups will make the call on the pace of the deliveries. (One star offered comfort to refugees: Lindsay Lohan.)

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