On Wednesday 22 February, I asked the Secretary of State for International Development about the humanitarian crisis on the Syria/Jordan border. Refugees have gathered in makeshift camps in an area known as the ‘berm’, named for its distinctive raised barrier of sand, which marks a no man’s land between the two countries.

Thangam Debbonaire:

“I recently had a very helpful meeting with one of the DFID Ministers about the situation in the berm—an area of no man’s land between Jordan and Syria. I am aware of how much the Government are doing with aid, but will the Secretary of State please update us on the humanitarian situation in the berm and what else is being done and could be done to help those refugees?”

Secretary of State Priti Patel:

“I thank the hon. Lady for raising the appalling situation in the berm; it is a devastating situation. She asked about what we are doing. Obviously, work has taken place through our agencies and partners, and more directly with the Jordanian Government. We are working with them in a very difficult, hostile terrain and territory in order to ensure that people and children are being protected and that they are getting access to food and water, which, frankly, is a major priority in the berm.”

You can watch the exchange here:

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