WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson's comments after a visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan underestimated the scope and complexity of a global crisis, aid and refugee groups said Monday.
Carson, a leading candidate in the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, visited the Zaatari camp for refugees fleeing Syria's civil war over the weekend.
In television interviews on Sunday, Carson, who has faced scrutiny over his foreign policy credentials, said he found facilities there to be "really quite nice" and that people there would rather stay or return home to Syria than go to the United States.
Shannon Scribner, humanitarian policy manager for Oxfam America, praised Carson for visiting the camp, which holds around 84,000 refugees, and for bringing attention to the need for more funding.
"What I didn't hear him talking about, though, was that a political solution is what's needed," she said. "In order to stop this flow of refugees the fighting actually needs to stop."
He also failed to consider resettling the refugees as part of the solution, she said. Most of them hope to return to Syria one day, but some are unable to, and nobody wants to stay in the camps, she noted.
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