Syria, Jordan urge UN to build more refugee camps

Emergency camps to host Iraqis fleeing their country could be built if their numbers increase beyond the point where neighboring nations can cope, the UN refugee agency said Monday. Already about two million Iraqis are living under difficult conditions in Syria, Jordan, and other countries in the region, where they are placing a heavy burden on their hosts, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees' director for the Middle East and North Africa said. "If the situation continues to deteriorate inside Iraq, and if new and major waves of Iraqis start leaving, we might face a situation whereby borders all around Iraq are closed," Radhouane Nouicer told reporters after returning from a visit to the region. To avoid the closing of borders, UNHCR would set up camps in Jordan, Syria, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, effectively separating the refugees from the local population and economy, he said.