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Jordan May Open Second Syrian Refugee Camp If Influx Continues

Jordan may open a second refugee camp if the influx of people escaping conflict in Syria continues at the same pace, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Jafar Hassan said.

The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan has 25,000 people and is receiving an average of about 1,500 more a day, he told reporters in Amman, the capital, today.

Fighting between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and rebels trying to end his rule has forced civilians to seek refuge in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. More than 23,000 people have died since the uprising began in March last year, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Jordan will spend $160 million this year and $200 million next year to provide services to the refugees, Hassan said. The total number of Syrians who entered Jordan since the start of the unrest is 177,000, he said.

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