Canada ‘horrified’ by Syria violence

Zaatari Refugee Camp, Jordan -

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said on Saturday he was “horrified” by the violence in Syria as he visited a desert refugee camp in neighbouring Jordan.

File picture - Syrian refugee children play at the Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria. Credit: REUTERS

“We are tremendously horrified to learn of this experience that so many people here face, the horrifying experiences that cause them to leave,” their country, Baird said during a tour of the Zaatari refugee camp outside the northern Jordanian city of Mafraq.

Addressing reporters with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh at the UN-administered camp, which has so far taken in 6,000

people, Baird said Canada “has been a lead donor in support” of Syrian refugees.

“We want to do more, we have come here to take a first-hand look at the situation to see what else we can do, to take that back,” he added.

Baird said Canada plans to provide an additional $1.5 million to the World Food Programme to help the refugees.

“In Syria, Canada is also providing $2 million in health care supplies to doctors and health care providers to enable more responsive and better treatment for the tragedies going on the other side of the border,” he said.

Canada has so far given $8.5 million in humanitarian aid to Syrians since the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regime began in March 2011, making country the third largest donor after the United States and Britain.

Jordan is hosting more than 150,000 Syrians, around 46,000 of whom are UN-registered.

“The solution to the crisis really must be a political one,” Judeh told reporters.

“I fear that the chances (for a political solution) are dwindling.”

More than 21,000 have died in the 17-month uprising in Syria. - Sapa-AFP