Jordan agrees to 30-day ration for stranded Syrian refugees
The United Nation's refugee agency says a UN team has reached a deal with the Jordanian government to deliver a 30-day food ration to thousands of refugees caught along the border with war-ravaged Syria.
UNHCR spokeswoman Ariane Rummery said on Monday that a UN team met with Jordanian border authorities and community leaders to discuss "distribution modalities" for the ration plan.
Jordan sealed the border area, known as "the Berm" because of an earthen mound marking the frontier, after a June 21 suicide attack claimed by the Islamic State group [IS] killed seven Jordanian troops and wounded 13.
Concerns have mounted that around 70,000 Syrians could be facing starvation and dehydration after all aid deliveries, except occasional water shipments, stopped.
Human Rights Watch [HRW] sounded the alarm earlier this month about the "appalling" situation facing the refugees trapped in the barren desert area.
"Jordan should not be punishing Syrian children, women, and men fleeing the same atrocities that killed Jordanian soldiers," said Gerry Simpson, senior refugee researcher and advocate at HRW.
"Other countries should do all they can to help Jordan keep its border open to those in need," he added.
Jordanian authorities have rejected criticism of the country's policies, pointing out that it already hosts nearly 1.4 million Syrian refugees, of whom 630,000 are registered with the UN.
Agencies contributed to this report.