Jordanian border town feels the strain of Syrian refugee influx

from the Financial Times..

May 17, 2013, By John Reed in Al-Mafraq

The festering piles of rubbish on the streets of Al-Mafraq are a growing sign of the pressure on the north Jordan town whose population has more than doubled since the Syrian uprising began in 2011.

What was a dusty, nondescript desert settlement in one of Jordan’s poorest provinces now has the crowded feel and ripe odour of the de facto refugee camp it has become as people flood in, some living two or even three families per flat.

After welcoming the Syrians into their homes, then watching as the UN built the huge Zaatari camp nearby, the residents’ patience is wearing thin.

They blame the new arrivals for everything from growing petty theft to a proliferation of brothels, rising rents, trafficking in food aid, and a drain on public services.

…….

Syrian strain

Economists and donors disagree as to whether the Syrians are a burden or a blessing for Jordan’s resource-poor economy.

Link to the entire article:  http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/0f571098-be3a-11e2-bb35-00144feab7de.html#axzz2TpqnYYaW

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