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Jordan allows one-off aid drop to Rukban border camp

The Rukban refugee camp has received UN aid from the Jordanian side in a one-off delivery.

Rukban border camp

Authorities in Jordan have allowed a one-off delivery of UN humanitarian aid to tens of thousands of displaced people from Syria along the two countries' border, according to Jordanian state media.

The remote Rukban refugee camp, which is home to at least 55,000 refugees, received food and other essential items by crane lift on Monday.

The drop of aid came after a request from the United Nations amid concerns about poor living conditions in the makeshift camp, where many are suffering from malnutrition.

The refugees were trapped there when Jordan sealed its border with Syria following an attack on its soldiers there that was claimed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group in June 2016.

The move impeded delivery of life-saving humanitarian aid and severely restricted humanitarian agencies' capacity to operate there.

Several months of talks between Jordanian officials and the UN, which was asked to present a plan for the delivery, led to the agreement for the one-time drop of aid.

According to the Petra state news agency, the delivery on Monday was assisted by the Jordanian army and foreign ministry staff.

Officials in Jordan have previously said that Rukban camp "will never be a Jordanian responsibility", insisting said that aid must come from the Syrian side.

By using a crane to drop the aid onto the informal settlement, Jordan can continue to maintain this position as it has not had direct contact with the camp or its inhabitants.

Jordan is concerned that there may be ISIL sleeper cells within Rukban camp.

An estimated 1.5 million Syrians have fled to Jordan since the beginning of the civil war in 2011.


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