On his final day in the Middle East, the Prime Minister visited the Za’atari Refugee Camp on the Syrian border. Established in July 2012 as a response to the increasing number of Syrians fleeing the conflict in Syria, the camp now receives 300 refugees every day.
After receiving a security briefing, the Prime Minister announced support for childhood education in Jordan.
“The effects of the Syrian crisis have been devastating for children in the region, depriving them of basic needs and the opportunity to grow in a safe, secure and nurturing environment. Canada’s support will help ensure that children living in Jordanian communities hosting Syrian refugees have the opportunity to learn, play and succeed despite difficult circumstances.”
It is estimated that 35 percent of the Syrian refugees in host communities in Jordan are school-aged children who are now attending Jordanian public schools. This puts tremendous pressure on the Jordanian education system, which was already facing limited capacity before the refugee crisis. Several Members of Parliament also had the opportunity to the Syrian border and see first-hand how Canada’s efforts are making a difference. You can watch the video here.
The Prime Minister also announced additional humanitarian support and further support for the destruction of chemical weapons in Syria.
After spending the morning at the camp, Prime Minister Harper and his wife Laureen traveled to the archaeological city of Petra.