2 babies die at camp for displaced on Syria-Jordan border: UN

Two babies have died of illness in the past week at a camp for displaced people on the Syrian border with Jordan, the UN children's agency UNICEF said Thursday (December 13th).

The deaths prompted UNICEF to reiterate calls for humanitarian access for the thousands of people at al-Rukban camp, which lies in an inhospitable stretch of desert, AFP reported.

"Another sad week for children and families in al-Rukban. Two sick babies under six months old died in al-Rukban," said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF regional director for the Middle East and North Africa.

"Freezing temperatures and lack of supplies including of basic commodities, threaten the lives of nearly 45,000 people -- among them many children, leaving them at the risk of disease and death," he said in a statement.

Last month the UN and Syrian Arab Red Crescent announced the first delivery of humanitarian aid at al-Rukban in 10 months.

Civilians trapped at the camp face the risk of starvation amid a deteriorating humanitarian situation after Jordan sealed its border following an "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) attack on its soldiers.

Soon afterwards, the army declared Jordan's desert regions that stretch northeast to Syria and east to Iraq "closed military zones".

Amman believes the responsibility of the camp lies with Damascus since it is inside Syrian territory.

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