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Minister of State Seán Sherlock T.D. to Meet with Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Minister of State Seán Sherlock T.D. to Meet with Syrian Refugees in Jordan
Visit to Assess Impact of Ireland’s Support to UN High Commission for Refugees and NGOs

Minister of State for Development, Trade Promotion and North-South Co-operation, Seán Sherlock T.D., will today visit the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan and meet with Syrian refugee families, seeing at first-hand the conditions in which they are living. Minister Sherlock will also have the opportunity to evaluate the work of agencies in receipt of funding from Irish Aid, the Government’s overseas aid programme.

Ahead of the visit, the Minister said:

“This visit allows me the opportunity to see at first-hand how Ireland’s support to the UNHCR in Jordan allows it to continue its vital work in refugee camps such as Azraq, where I will be visiting on Thursday.

“The UNHCR also works with the half a million or so refugees who live outside of camps and I will also have an opportunity to meet with some of these families and to hear about their experiences.

“I am acutely conscious of the strain that the refugee crisis is placing on health, education and water resources in Jordan. My visit, which also includes a meeting with the Minister of Industry, Trade & Supply H.E Mrs. Maha Abdul Rahim Ali, offers an opportunity to express solidarity with the Jordanian authorities and to demonstrate Ireland’s support for the ways in which they are addressing these challenges.

“The last four years of conflict have exacted a terrible toll on the people of Syria, so many of whom are now living as refugees in neighbouring countries such as Jordan.

“It is important that the international community does all that it can to help them in their time of need. I am glad that Ireland and the Irish people have not been found wanting in this regard.

“Irish Aid’s support to the Syrian people so far this year has included €800,000 in support to the work of the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) inside Jordan. Irish Aid has also supported the work of NGOs such as Tearfund and Oxfam in Jordan.

“We look forward to welcoming those refugees who will be selected to settle in Ireland over the coming months".

Over 100,000 Syrians are currently living in refugee camps inside Jordan and c. 25,000 of these are in Azraq Camp where Minister of State Sherlock will visit. A further 500,000+ refugees in Jordan live outside of refugee camps in towns and cities across the country, predominantly in Amman and northern Jordan.

ENDS

Press Office

8 October 2015