UK & World News
Britain To Quadruple Aid To Syrian Refugees
Britain is set to quadruple the aid it provides to refugees fleeing the fighting in Syria.
The new funding will be channelled through UN agencies to help provide assistance to tens of thousands of people who have crossed into neighbouring countries, as the civil war intensifies.
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell announced the new aid package during a visit to the Syrian border.
He said: "In the midst of its sporting triumphs at the London Olympics, Britain has not forgotten the people of Syria.
"Today's extra support shows we stand alongside those who have lost everything because of the actions of this brutal regime."
The additional aid will help provide emergency rations, drinking water and sanitation for 45,000 Syrian refugees in camps around the region.
The UN says more than 100,000 Syrians have officially registered as refugees in Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon.
But the actual number who have fled the fighting is thought to be many times that figure.
In Jordan, the government claims at least 140,000 Syrians have poured into the country since the conflict began.
Most are believed to be staying with relatives, or being hosted by communities close to the border, but thousands are now being moved to an official camp.
The location of the new camp - out in the dusty, windswept desert near al Mafraq, a few miles from the Syrian border - is unforgiving.
The UN's refugee agency has erected row after row of white tents in the sand and is scrambling to build washing facilities.
But the place is bleak and isolated - another hardship to be endured by the hundreds who are now arriving there every day.
"The conditions are very difficult here," one woman said, raising her hand to shield her two-year-old daughter's face from another blast of dust sweeping through the camp.
"But we had to come, we would have died there."
Many in the camp - which will eventually have the capacity to hold 113,000 people - have come from the town of Deraa just over the border where the fighting has been raging for months.
Others have come from towns and cities further away, travelling across Syria for days to reach safety.
Mohammed, a computer programmer, fled Deir Ezzor after his home was destroyed by government shelling.
In his designer shirt and jeans, he looks bewildered by his new surroundings - a small tent he is sharing with six other members of his family.
"I came here before Bashar al Assad destroys my whole country," he said. "I came here to save my life."