The King of Jordan said his county has reached a "boiling point" because of the massive influx of refugees from Syria, as he appealed for more help from the international community. Jordan's social, health and economic system have been put under an enormous strain by the hundreds of thousands of people that have crossed from its war-torn neighbour in recent years, according to the monarch.
"In the psyche of the Jordanian people I think it's gotten to a boiling point," King Abdullah told the BBC. "Jordanians are suffering from trying to find jobs, the pressure on infrastructure for the government. It does hurt us when it comes to the educational system, our health care, just Jordanians trying to get along with their lives. Sooner or later the dam is going to burst."
Jordan is hosting 635,000 UN-registered Syrian refugees, almost 10% of its native population. Amman however says about one million more are living in the country, bringing the population share up to 25%.
King Abdullah, a western ally, said 25% of the government budget is currently used to deal with the refugee intake, and urged the international community to contribute more. A UN response plan to the crisis in Syria, which allocates resources to aid refugees in neighbouring countries, including Jordan, has in fact gone chronically underfunded. Last year it collected less than 50% of funds needed, which for 2016 are $7.7bn (£5.3bn, €7bn).
"The international community has asked Jordan to fight the good fight alongside our colleagues all over the international community. We've never said no," said King Abdullah. "We're now asking for your help. You can't say no this time around to us."
His appeal came ahead of a donor conference in London where world heads of state will discuss humanitarian aid for the Syrian crisis. King Abdullah hinted that EU governments must prove generous if they want to cut their own migration influx which is fuelled by Syrian asylum seekers. "They realise that if they don't help Jordan, it's going to be more difficult for them to deal with the refugee crisis," he said.