by Hani Hazaimeh | Dec 16, 2012 | JORDAN TIMES
AMMAN — Jordan and the UN on Sunday agreed to create a joint operations centre to coordinate the response to the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Antonio Guterres said.
Guterres added that the centre will be headed by a government representative and vice chaired by a UNHCR representative. It will also include other government and UN representatives, who will all work to ensure sound joint planning to support Syrian refugees in Jordan.
“We also agreed that all our logistics will be managed jointly,” he told reporters at a joint press conference with European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response Kristalina Georgieva.
The two relief officials warmly expressed their appreciation to the government for keeping the borders with Syria open for refugees.
Guterres said the UN and Jordan have also agreed to adopt a common strategy for funding in order to ensure that both the costs of assistance to refugees by international organisations and the costs supported by the government can be presented to the international community in a unified way to mobilise support.
“We reiterate our commitment to fully supporting not only the Syrian refugees but also the host countries that have generously granted protection to them as is the case of Jordan,” he stressed.
“We are living a crucial moment in relation to the conflict in Syria. It is high time for the international community to understand that this is not like many others. We are witnessing brutal fighting with a tragic humanitarian crisis,” the UN official said.
He underlined that the support to internally displaced Syrians and those who sought refuge in neighbouring countries needs to be strongly enhanced in 2013.
“Jordan is facing an enormous difficult economic situation and even so Jordan has very generously kept its borders open,” Guterres added.
“Jordan has accepted the huge impact of the Syrian refugee community after sustaining the burden of the Iraqi and Palestinian refugee communities despite the high costs on the Kingdom’s economy and its infrastructure… representing an example that should be followed in the world,” the high commissioner said.
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