Egypt is building a field hospital for Syrian refugees near the Syrian-Jordan border and is sending aid to Syrians both inside and outside Syria, according to state-run newspaper Al-Ahram.
Official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amr Roshdy was quoted in Al-Ahram as saying Egypt will send EGP 250,000 worth of emergency humanitarian aid to displaced Syrians inside Syria. In addition, EGP 250,000 worth of aid will go to Syrian refugees in Jordan, in addition to the field hospital.
In a rare acknowledgment of Syrian refuges in Egypt, Roshdy said the Government is keen to provide them with assistance to make them feel at home. He added that this includes treating them like Egyptians when it comes to treatment in Egyptian hospitals.
According to Dr Ihab Makram from the Nasser Institute Hospital for Research and Treatment, a governmental Ministry of Health hospital, “they used to pay twice what Egyptians pay, but because of the conditions that they are going through, they can pay the same amount as Egyptians.
“Yes, they pay symbolic prices but we can’t provide them with the full costs of treatment, not before we provide the Egyptian patients first,” he added.
The Foreign Minister stated earlier this month that Egypt is willing to help Syrians, particularly those in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. Egyptian refugee law does not normally grant refugees access to free medical care or education.
Roshdy said there is a bank account in the name of the Ministry of Finance, which Egyptian citizens and civil society organisations can donate to Syrian refugees in countries that neighbour Syria through, according to O News Agency.
While most Syrian refugees have chosen countries bordering Syria as their destination, namely, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq, those in Egypt are often overlooked. According to a UNHCR official, the number of refugees in countries bordering Syria exceeds 202,000.
In Egypt, the number of Syrian refugees reached at least 15,000 in July based on estimates of a legal aid team working with Syrian refugees here.
One Syrian refugee, Abu Bara’a said “most Syrian refugees who come to Egypt, come by air, but some of them come by land through Jordan.” Abu Bara’a fled violence in Syria and came to Egypt a year ago to settle in 6th October city. Now, helps incoming refugees to settle into their new lives.
He said “there are about 130 to 140 families living in 6th October alone” and hundreds more living throughout Cairo.