Philip Bromwell

Between a rock and a hard place

Inside Azraq refugee camp in Jordan

Courtesy Meg Sattler/World Vision International
"Syria has become a disgraceful humanitarian calamity with suffering and displacement unparalleled in recent history."
Jordan is the fourth most arid country in the world. The aid agency, World Vision, has supplied water and sanitation facilities in Azraq.
Driving through the Jordanian desert, you follow signs for Iraq and Syria. Azraq camp, 100km east of Amman, is difficult to miss on these barren plains. A sprawl of zinc and steel, the camp consists of rows of white shelters which are shaped like Monopoly houses.
The crisis in Syria is well into its fourth year and new refugees arrive in Azraq every day. Linda McGarry, from World Vision Ireland, gave this assessment of the situation on the ground.
Azraq was officially opened on April 30th, a year after planning for the site began. It was constructed to ease pressure on Zaatari camp, in the north of Jordan. Dublin native Andy Needham is UNHCR's external relations officer at Azraq.
According to a tweet on Sunday from Andrew Harper, UNHCR representative to Jordan, Azraq is currently home to more than 6,000 Syrian refugees.
World Vision says additional funding is urgently required to help strengthen its interventions in Jordan (
UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres - September 2013
Eventually Azraq could accommodate up to 130,000 people. It is seen by some as a "model" for all future refugee camps. It has schools, a hospital, playgrounds and even a supermarket. But for the Syrians living here it's not, and will never be, home.