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Jordan asks for help as Syrian refugee crisis reaches 'boiling point'

Published 02/02/2016

Syrian refugee students attend an open house at Zarqa University in Zarqa, Jordan, as King Abdullah warned the 'dam is going to burst' in his country (AP)
Syrian refugee students attend an open house at Zarqa University in Zarqa, Jordan, as King Abdullah warned the 'dam is going to burst' in his country (AP)

Jordan has warned it cannot continue to take in Syrian refugees unless it is given significant extra support, as international figures prepare to gather in London for talks on the crisis.

King Abdullah said the "dam is going to burst" in his country, which is straining to cope with the hundreds of thousands of Syrians who have crossed its borders seeking sanctuary.

Jordanians are reaching "boiling point" as schools, hospitals and others services come under strain, he warned.

He told the BBC: " Whenever the international community has asked for Jordan to fight the good fight alongside our colleagues all over the international community, we have never said no.

"We are now asking for your help, y ou can't say no this time around to us," he added.

Prime Minister David Cameron has held talks twice in recent weeks with Queen Rania of Jordan over action to ease the plight of refugees fleeing Syria.

International figures will meet in London for the Supporting Syrian conference on Thursday to agree extra funding to tackle the humanitarian crisis.

King Abdullah added: "The psyche of the Jordanian people, I think it's gotten to a boiling point.

"Jordanians are suffering from trying to find jobs, the pressure on infrastructure for the government. It hurt us when it comes to the educational system, our healthcare, Jordanians just trying to get along with their lives.

"Sooner or later, I think the dam is going to burst and I think this week is going to be very important for Jordanians to see, is there going to be help - not only for Syrian refugees, but for their own future as well."

Mr Cameron spoke to the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim, and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau on Monday night to discuss preparations for the conference, Downing Street said.

"Both the Emir and Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada, agreed with the Prime Minister that it was very important that the international community were generous in their pledges to the Supporting Syria conference, to be held in London later this week," a No 10 spokesman said.

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