March 1, 2016 11:58 am

UN marks arrival of 5000th baby born in Zaatari refugee camp


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and its partners marked the safe delivery of the 5,000th baby to be born among Syrian refugees in Zaatari camp on Tuesday.

The clinic which was opened in June 2013, delivers seven to eight babies per day.

The 5000th baby, Rima was born on 21 February – there have been an additional 50 births since then. There have been no maternal deaths.

The centre is being funded by the United States and the European Union.

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Meanwhile, hundreds of exhausted refugee families trying to reach Western Europe flocked Tuesday to a burgeoning tent city on Greece’s border with Macedonia, which has not allowed anybody in for 24 hours, citing a similar policy by Serbia further north.

READ MORE: 5 things to know about the Syrian refugee resettlement program

The impasse drew strongly worded criticism from the United Nations refugee agency, which warned that Europe “is on the cusp of a largely self-induced humanitarian crisis.”

A UNHCR statement said inconsistent policies in the continent, which faces its worst immigration crisis since the end of World War II, “are causing unnecessary suffering and risk being at variance with EU and international law standards.”

Here at home, the legacy of Canada’s efforts to resettle thousands of Syrian refugees will eclipse any delays or hiccups in rolling out the program, the federal immigration minister said Monday in marking the 25,000th arrival.

“I think what people will really remember some years from now is that we helped these 25,000 people come to our country and now they are productive, hardworking Canadians,” Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Minister John McCallum told a news conference at Toronto’s Pearson airport earlier this week.

-With files from the Associated Press’ Geir Moulson

© 2016 The Associated Press

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