Photos: The Netherlands Donates 1,500 Bikes to Syrian Refugees

2015-03-29T150428Z_1323699740_GF10000042924_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA
Photos: The Netherlands Donates 1,500 Bikes to Syrian Refugees Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

The famously bike-friendly city of Amsterdam has donated 1,500 bicycles to Syrian refugee camps, in the hopes that they will be used by refugees to help set up small businesses.

Five hundred bikes were distributed on Sunday to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, home to more than 80,000 Syrian refugees. The remaining 1,000 will be distributed in other Syrian refugee camps also in Jordan.

Four million people have fled the four-year civil war in Syria, with a majority settling in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. More than 600,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan.

Dutch foreign trade minister Lilianne Ploumen presented the bikes to humanitarian workers before taking a ride on one of them around the enormous camp, the AFP news agency reports.

"This camp is the size of a city and that is why I think we need to help people live in this camp like it was a city," Ploumen told reporters.

The Netherlands has around 18 million bikes, 880,000 of them in Amsterdam, according to The New York Times.

2015-03-29T150428Z_1323699740_GF10000042924_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA
Netherlands Minister of Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Lilianne Ploumen, center, is pictured presenting bicycles to humanitarian workers at the Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria on March 29, 2015. The Netherlands donated a total of 1,500 bicycles to refugee camps around Jordan, including 500 at Zaatari. Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
2015-03-29T145759Z_761755488_GF10000042922_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA
The bicycles were donated by the famously bike-friendly city of Amsterdam, which is home to more than 800,000 bikes, according to The New York Times.Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
2015-03-29T151320Z_1418914387_GF10000042943_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA
Bikes are a popular means of transportation for Syrian refugees at the Zaatari refugee camp, home to around 80,000 Syrian refugees. The Netherlands hopes the bikes will be used by the refugees to set up small businesses. Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
2015-03-29T144805Z_414016889_GF10000042920_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA
Ploumen checks out one of the 500 bikes donated to Zaatari refugee camp. Another 1,000 bikes will go to other camps around Jordan. Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
2015-03-29T144950Z_160642281_GF10000042931_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA
Ploumen, left, rides around the sprawling Zaatari refugee camp. Four million people have fled the four-year long civil war in Syria, with a majority settling in Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt. More than 600,000 Syrian refugees have fled to Jordan alone.Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
2015-03-29T145638Z_1895375063_GF10000042927_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA
Ploumen speaks to a Syrian refugee in his bicycle repair shop in the Zaatari refugee camp. "This camp is the size of a city and that is why I think we need to help people live in this camp like it was a city," Ploumen told reporters. Muhammad Hamed/Reuters
2015-03-29T150903Z_342478690_GF10000042937_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA
Photographed through a car window, a Syrian refugee rides a bicycle in the Zaatari refugee camp.Muhammad Hamed/Reuters