Mon, Dec 5, 2016 | updated 09:56 AM IST

Thousands of refugees stuck at Jordan border face risk of epidemics

Updated: Sep 04, 2016 23:35 IST

London [U.K.], Sept. 4 (ANI): Aid workers have warned that tens of thousands of "ghost" refugees, who have been trapped in the desert along Jordan's border with Syria for more than two months, are at a risk of epidemics.

The refugees, who have no sanitation or medical facilities, are living in some of the worst conditions and activists say the situation could undermine Jordan's role as co-host of a major summit on refugees in New York this month, reports the Guardian.

No aid or food deliveries are allowed across the border and irregular water supplies barely cover drinking needs in temperatures reaching 50 degree Celsius over the summer, with nothing left for sanitation.

Some people have reportedly dug themselves holes in the ground because they have nothing at all to improvise shelter against regular desert sandstorms. One settlement was bombed by Russian planes in July.

"These are some of the most extreme conditions on earth. Then you add to that not having any access to healthcare or enough water or food, and being under threat of aerial attack. This is a critical humanitarian emergency," said Natalie Thurtle, the medical team leader for charity Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF).

Jordan is co-hosting the major international Leaders' Summit on Refugees on 20 September, on the sidelines of the UN general assembly.

Jordan says it is hosting nearly 1.4 million Syrian refugees, of whom 630,000 are registered with the UN. The huge numbers have placed a massive strain on the kingdom's economy and resources as well as raising security concerns. (ANI)