Last November, Ben Carson got a chance to witness the Syrian refugee camps first hand while visiting Jordan. Carson called the camps, “really quite nice.” On a recent trip to the Middle East, the GroundTruth Project’s Charlie Sennott also got a chance to visit the refugee camps in Jordan. His experience was vastly different than Carson’s.

“You just can’t imagine how bleak it is in those camps,” Sennott said on Boston Public Radio on Monday.

In the winter, cold, grey days, lots of mud, kids coughing, flus. You just look at the vast warrens of these little camps and you say, ‘wow this is a lot of humanity’,” Sennott said.

According to Sennott, just one of these refugee camps has almost 80,000 people in it.” It would be like Brookline in tents and no heat,” he said about the population size of the camps.

As the refugee population continues to rise, the surrounding countries have increasingly felt the brunt from the massive influx of people.  “250,000 people killed, 13 million people displaced from their homes, four million of them spilling into the surrounding countries of Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey,” Sennott said. “ There are not even enough jobs for Jordanians, never mind the refugees.”

An international collection of delegates will join together in London on February 4th to attend the Syrian Donors Conference to discuss funding possibilities and other solutions for the refugees.  According to the U.N., the current amount of available funds needs to be doubled if this crisis is going to be confronted. Sennott says that the United States has provided a sizeable amount of relief money, but needs to start bringing in more refugees. ‘We’ve committed in a very generous way to the relief effort but in a very stingy way in terms of how many of these Syrian refugees we will actually take into this country,” Sennott said.” 

“Europe has had a million Syrian refugees in the last year,” he said. “We don’t look too smart about this.”