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Norway charity opens huge refugee camp

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Norway charity opens huge refugee camp
Shelters under construction at Azraq, Jordan. Photo: YouTube Screengrab
21:42 CEST+02:00
The Norwegian Refugee Council on Monday welcomed the first family to its shelters in a massive new camp in Azraq, Jordan, built to house refugees from the civil war in nearby Syria.
The family, consisting of one man and eight women, had been travelling for two days on foot fleeing the war in Syria before they arrived to Jordan. 
  
“We are very pleased to see that the camp has now opened,"  NRC Jordan Country Director Robert Beer said in a statement. "It provides sanctuary for the increasing number of refugees fleeing violence in Syria”. 
 
The new site has a capacity to host up to 130,000 refugees, meaning it soon may become the world’s third largest refugee camp.  More than 230 refugees arrived at the camp on its first day, according to Beer, with one family reunited for the first time in two years. 
 
The camp, located some 100 kilometres east of Amman, will help take some of the pressure off Jordan's densely populated Zaatari camp, home to more than 100,000 refugees.
   
"Zaatari will stop receiving refugees. They will be transferred to Azraq from now on," Ali Bibi, spokesman for the UN refugee agency UNHCR in Jordan, told AFP.
 
NRC has already built 1750 zinc and steel shelters in Azraq, and aims to construct up to 40 new shelters a day, depending on the the numbers of refugees coming to the camp. 
 
It is also responsible for receiving all new arrivals at the camp, supplying them with blankets, mattresses and cooking utensils, and running education and youth programmes for children. 
 
Jordan has received 590,000 refugees from Syria, most of them living in host communities, and around 100,000 living in Zaatari refugee camp, where the capacity has been stretched to the limits. 
 
The UNHCR said last month that Azraq already had enough bathrooms and other sanitation facilities to service 30,000 people. It also has two schools and a hospital.
 
 
 
Here's Beer explaining the 'revolutionary' design of the new structures: 

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