About 1,000 refugees are currently caught between the border posts of Jordan and Iraq where conditions are from from suitable. The landscape is a near moonscape. The climate in the area is extreme, with the blinding desert dust. Latrines are still under construction and garbage disposal is erratic. These conditions create an obvious risk.
Water is a problem, as there is no adequate source near the camp. Instead, water is being trucked in from a perfectly good - but empty - refugee camp just 50 kms away.
An MSF nurse summed up the frustration of the team working in the camp: "It is difficult to see the hard conditions the people endure, when a perfectly set up refugee camp is just 50 kilometres away which cost millions of dollars and is now almost empty".
Despite the presence of a three person (doctor and two nurses) MSF medical team working in the no-mans-land camp which was increased by a doctor, nurse and a logistician over the weekend, conditions may still cause the condition of the refugees to deteriorate quickly.
To date, the refugees are in reasonable good health. However, many have slept in the open before getting into a tent in the border zone. There are often eye problems from the incredible wind and sand on this moonscape land. There are cases of diarrhoea and respiratory infections, but not to alarming levels.
There is a very high proportion of children; some 60% of the group are under 15 years old. A lot of them have respiratory and eye infections. There is also a problem with a number of people in dire need of medicines for chronic complaints.
MSF is also carrying out mental health assessments. These people live under great distress, very uncertain about their future. They are desperate to leave Iraq, as they feel there is no future from them in the country. They have lost all hope after living in their previous camp for 23 years, where they were completely dependent on assistance.
Some of the people in the camp come from the Al Tash refugee camp, which is located some 150 kilometres west of Baghdad. The population of this camp is reported to be 13,000. These refugees have told MSF that they have been in the camp for over 20 years and they fled after the fall of Saddam Hussein when they were attacked by local people around the camp. MSF has been unable to visit that camp because security is too uncertain in the area.
"It is difficult to see the hard conditions the people endure, when a perfectly set up refugee camp is just 50 kilometres away which cost millions of dollars and is now almost empty", - MSF nurse working in the camp.