More than 7,000 people have left an isolated desert camp for displaced Syrians near the Jordanian border since March, a UN spokesman said Friday (April 26th).
According to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), around 36,000 people remained in al-Rukban camp after over 4,000 left between March and April 21st.
The Syrian regime and Russia in February said they had opened corridors out of the camp and called on residents to leave.
"Since March, over 7,300 people have left al-Rukban," OCHA spokesman David Swanson told AFP, including some 3,000 who left after April 21st.
Those who have quit the camp have moved to collective shelters in Homs city or resettled in their areas of origin in Homs province, OCHA said Thursday.
It said al-Rukban residents were organising their own transportation to the edge of a de-escalation zone established around al-Tanf base, used by the international coalition fighting the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).
From there, they either continued in their vehicles or were transferred by private or regime -provided vehicles to four collective shelters in Homs city.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said those returning to regime-held parts of Homs from al-Rukban had struck so-called "reconciliation deals" with the Syrian regime.
Conditions inside al-Rukban are dire, with many surviving on just one simple meal a day, according to one resident.