Monday, July 6, 2015

An Empty Refugee Camp

Azraq Refugee Camp, Photo: Alisa Reznick/Al Jazeera
You probably imagine a refugee camp as being overcrowded with people. Yet there is a refugee camps that is almost empty due to the harsh living conditions refugees face there.

Azraq refugee camp opened its gates over one year ago to meet the soaring numbers of refugees fleeing Syria. Yet, despite the offer of a shelter for every resident, the camp stands mostly empty. This is because of the living conditions in the camp. Located on a barren piece of land in the northern Jordanian desert, the camp houses 18,500 refugees, with 10,000 under the age of 18. But the residents describe the living conditions as harsh, with scorching summer heat, dust storms, and fierce winds. Schools services and education programs are available for children, but high temperatures keep children at home. The camp has no electricity, and so refugees cannot use fans or refrigerators inside their shelters. Furthermore, the prices for food have increased, and with a $29 per month food voucher, families cannot afford basic food items.

 For more on Azraq, see this photo essay from AlJazeera.

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