Refugees moved from no-man's-land

[Jordan] Camp for third country nationals in Ruweished, Jordan, about 60km from the Iraqi border. The camp is run by the Jordanian Red Crescent Society.
Ruweished camp is now home to 337 refugees (IRIN)

The office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Jordan confirmed on Monday that refugees from Iraq living in a camp located in no-man's-land on the Jordanian/Iraqi border had been moved further inland in the kingdom to a better location.

"The government of Jordan decided to move the refugees, as the location was not good and too close to the border and we support this move," Jacqueline Parlevliet, a senior protection officer for UNHCR, told IRIN from the Jordanian capital, Amman.

A total of 743 refugees, mainly Iranian Kurds, were moved to al-Ruweished camp, some 350 km east of the Jordanian capital, Amman on Sunday.

"The transfer went smoothly and we are extremely happy that the government agreed to move them," she said, adding that the no-mans-land area was now empty.

The move comes after refugees protested against conditions in the hot and dry area. Both camps were established following the 2003 US-led war in Iraq when thousands of people fled to various neighbouring countries in search of safety.

Some 133 refugees were living in al-Ruweished before the transfer of the new group on Sunday. Food, healthcare and education services are being provided by the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO) on behalf of Amman, along with NGOs and the UN.

So far approximately 400 individuals from the two camps have been submitted to resettlement countries, including the US, Australia and Nordic nations with some cases pending, according to the UNHCR official. Parlevliet added that a delegation from New Zealand is due to arrive in Jordan soon to discuss the possibility of taking 25 cases for resettlement.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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