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Serving up five-star service for refugees the UAE way
29 October 2013 (IRIN ), A new camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan run by the United Arab Emirates Red Crescent has unrivalled services and accommodation. But some aid workers wonder how sustainable the operation is and if the money spent could have been used to help a larger number of refugees in other camps.
Syrians face bleak time in Bulgaria’s broken asylum system
22 October 2013 (IRIN ), In an abandoned schoolhouse outside the Bulgarian capital Sofia, 380 migrants and asylum seekers are living in squalid conditions. They are part of a new wave of migrants and asylum seekers, mostly Kurds from Syria, who have strained Bulgaria’s inefficient asylum system to breaking point.
Analysis: Getting it right for Syrian refugees the second time round
16 October 2013 (IRIN ), In building Azraq, the newest camp for Syrian refugees in the Jordanian desert, aid agencies have benefited from many lessons learned from the now notorious Za’atari camp. But while the new and improved camp stands ready to go, it has yet to receive its first refugee.
Syrian refugees worried as UN targets its food aid in Lebanon
9 October 2013 (IRIN ), As the Syrian refugee crisis drags on, the World Food Programme in Lebanon is targeting its food aid to the most vulnerable instead of giving blanket assistance. But aid workers are concerned that among the 200,000 refugees that will stop receiving food vouchers, some may be wrongly cut off.
Haves and have-nots in Jordan’s Za’atari camp
8 October 2013 (IRIN ), To accommodate the needs of some 120,000 Syrian refugees, a market has sprung up along the main road of Jordan’s Za’atari camp. But its frenzy of commerce has spawned winners and losers, buyers and sellers, haves and have-nots, honest traders and outright thieves. Such divisions have fuelled resentment, particularly as those better off are viewed as taking advantage of the aid system at the expense of those living at the edge of survival, in an environment with very little security or regulations.
Preparing for MERS virus ahead of Hajj pilgrimage
7 October 2013 (IRIN ), Public health officials in the Gulf states are playing down fears about an outbreak of the deadly MERS coronavirus among pilgrims travelling to the Hajj in Saudi Arabia this month, though doctors are advising the elderly, people with existing health conditions, pregnant women and young children to stay away.
Syria Diary: In limbo
2 October 2013 (IRIN ), The writer is a recent graduate of the University of Damascus from a well-to-do family belonging to a Syrian minority. For security reasons, he prefers to stay anonymous. In this fourth diary entry, he describes feelings of disappointment as the August chemical attack, the proposed US military action and the current diplomatic initiative have left Syrians in limbo.
Samer Fanari, "We have to use illegal ways"
25 September 2013 (IRIN ), Samer Fanari, 27, defected from the Syrian army a year and a half ago and crossed into Turkey with nothing but his military tags. His plan was to travel to Sweden where his mother lives and apply for asylum, but he only got as far as Greece. He spoke to IRIN about his experiences.
UN, Muslim NGOs draw closer
23 September 2013 (IRIN ), In this IRIN podcast, we discuss progress made in improving the relationship between the UN and NGOs from the Arab/Muslim world.
Syria Diary: Going home
23 September 2013 (IRIN ), The writer is a recent graduate of the University of Damascus from a well-to-do family belonging to a Syrian minority. For security reasons, he prefers to stay anonymous. In this third diary entry, he describes his return to Damascus after spending 10 months in exile in Lebanon.

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