Published: 2017-08-15 14:19
Last Updated: 2017-08-15 14:28
The UN has reported almost 50,000 people, mostly of them women and children, stranded at Syria's southern border with Jordan, stationed in an increasingly unsafe area where air strikes were reported in the last few days.
The refugees reportedly comprise an estimated 4,000 people at the Hadalat border crossing and 45,000 at the Rukban border crossing in Jordan’s extreme northeast.
UN deputy spokesman Farhan Haq told reporters that "some people are reportedly attempting to leave the area, risking further danger and deprivation in an inhospitable desert location".
Those remaining in the area, known as the berm, face a scarcity of food and health care, Haq said.
In one section, called Hadalat, an estimated 4,000 people are reportedly living solely on flour and water, he said.
In June 2016 last year, Jordan closed its border with Syria the so-called Islamic State staged a car bomb attack near Rukban, killing seven Jordanian border guards.
Since then, international aid organisations have struggled with the dilemma of how to send aid to an off-limits areas.
Haq said on Monday that UN agencies "are deeply concerned about the security and protection" of the nearly 50,000 people stranded at the border.
"The UN calls on all parties to the conflict to take the necessary steps to prevent further harm to the frightened and highly vulnerable individuals stranded at the border," he said.
UN agencies are ready to continue supporting Jordanian authorities, despite limited resources, and "immediately provide protection and additional life-saving assistance as needed," Haq said.