Syria Weekly: Conditions worsen in Syria's forgotten refugee camp
Rukban residents have endured some of the worst conditions during Syria's war, with the camp besieged by Bashar Al-Assad's regime and aid deliveries effectively blocked by Jordan.
It has left residents in the camp alone, having to rely on smugglers to obtain food and fuel with malnutrition and disease increasingly common.
Stranded in the desert camp with no work available, most residents have to rely on family members living abroad to send them money to pay the smugglers.
Edge of famine
Al-Rukban is tinkering on the verge of mass starvation and devastating pandemics.
The recent closure of the camp's only medical point due to a coronavirus outbreak in neighbouring Jordan has made the situation for residents even more precarious.
Residents have been unable to seek refuge in Jordan due to the border being closed.
The dangers they would face from Syria's notorious intelligence services makes returning to their homes in regime areas also not an option.
It has left the thousands of refugees inhabiting the camp in no-man's-land with no outside help.
Jordan recently refused renewed appeals to allow aid to Rukban from its side of the border, insisting the camp's residents were not its responsibility.
"People here do not have work to provide food for their families, and we are waiting for help from some of the donors to the camp, or if there are relatives living abroad that send money for us to buy food."
Having fled to Rukban by taxi during the dead of night when the Islamic State group took over her village in Homs province, she had been living with her family in a tent ever since.
With no medical equipment or doctors in the camp and the nearby medical point closed, Nour and her unborn child were left in grave danger.
|My only hope is to go back to my home - Nour, Rukban resident|
Eventually they relented, and medical professionals treated Nour at Al-Tanf military clinic, where she gave birth to a girl.
Despite Jordan easing its domestic lockdown due to a dramatic drop in coronavirus cases, the medical point and border remains closed with no signs of the restrictions on Rukban being eased.
The last aid delivery to Rukban took place in September 2019 and the UN admitted it is worried about the "high level of food insecurity" at the camp and the fuel shortages leaving residents to burn rubbish, but appear unable or unwilling to intervene.
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Paul McLoughlin is a news editor at The New Arab.
Follow him on Twitter: @PaullMcLoughlin