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.