Boondoggle? UN building state-of-the-art refugee camp near Jordan/Saudi border as Syrian refugee flow slows

I thought I did my duty for today in reporting Syrian refugee “crisis” news, here, but can’t resist posting another story after seeing this report of a ‘ghost’ refugee camp being built by the UN (surely with millions of your tax dollars).

“…bizarre sight of thousands of restrooms that appeared to march across the desolate landscape,” reporter Richard Read. Photo: Jamie Francis

Every day I receive alerts on many refugee topics.  Today my ‘Syria’ alert was filled to over-flowing with stories on the Syrian refugee “crisis,” “catastrophe:” not enough foreign aid, not enough schools for the children, too much criminal activity in camps, no money, no money, send money, etc. etc…. and then this:  ‘United Nations builds giant refugee camp in the desert, but will it be used?’

From The Oregonian:

AL AZRAQ, Jordan –- There’s a big mystery in the desert near Jordan’s border with Saudi Arabia, and on Tuesday photographer Jamie Francis and I went to investigate it.   [I wonder how the Saudis feel about its nearness to their border—ed]

Here on barren volcanic soil, the United Nations is building a gigantic refugee camp designed for a new influx of Syrians fleeing the war next door.

Preparations are impressive – this may be the most carefully planned refugee camp anywhere in the world, designed to house as many as 130,000 eventually. But despite tens of millions of dollars invested, it’s impossible to say when or whether Al Azraq camp will ever be used.


I interviewed a top international migration official who confirmed that for now, the Syrian refugee flow into Jordan has slowed to a trickle. At times, as many as 4,000 Syrians a day arrived in Jordan. But the daily number has dropped to between 120 and 150, said Davide Terzi, chief of mission to Jordan for the International Organization for Migration.

So, let’s see, Camp Al Azraq will hold 130,000, it’s nearly finished, that means 130,000 Syrians (if they aren’t coming to Jordan bring them over from Lebanon) could be housed there instead of being resettled in the West until the Syrian civil war is over.  And, think of this enormous benefit—-they would still be in their own “culture zone!”

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