Middle East

Jordan, UN appeal for $700M to aid Syrian refugees

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees gather at Zaatari refugee camp, in Mafraq, Jordan, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. Jordan's has warned Syrian refugees in its tent camp near the Syrian border against rioting. Public security officials say rioting by 200 refugees late Tuesday over the camp's 'poor services' injured 26 Jordanian security officers. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)

Newly-arrived Syrian refugees gather at Zaatari refugee camp, in Mafraq, Jordan, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012. Jordan's has warned Syrian refugees in its tent camp near the Syrian border against rioting. Public security officials say rioting by 200 refugees late Tuesday over the camp's 'poor services' injured 26 Jordanian security officers. (AP Photo/Mohammad Hannon)  (AP2012)

Jordan and the U.N. refugee agency are issuing an urgent call for $700 million to help handle the rapidly rising number of Syrian refugees seeking safe haven in the country.

Jordanian Planning Minister Jafaar Hassan said Saturday the money would be used to assist 240,000 refugees and other Syrians in Jordan. He said they are an added drain on the country's already overburdened water and energy resources.

Some 5,000 Syrians crossed into Jordan in a 24-hour period earlier this week. More than 180,000 Syrians have found refuge in Jordan from their homeland's civil war. That is the largest number in the region.

UNHCR representative Andrew Harper said "many more Syrians" are expected to come to Jordan.

He said the needs were growing faster than funds were being received.