REFUGEES IN JORDAN
As a result of the Syrian conflict, refugees have been entering Jordan since 2011. The number of refugees arriving in Jordan dramatically increased at the start of 2013. According to the UNHCR, the number of refugees in Jordan now exceeds 750,000, 660,000 of which came from Syria. When unregistered refugees are added to this number, refugees are believed to represent 18% of the Jordanian population.
The gaps in provision towards refugees has largely been addressed through faith communities. Notably, Catholic and Orthodox churches have provided shelter and medical care to those seeking refuge inside Jordan’s borders.
80% of Syrians live outside of the camps, placing pressure on the Syrian housing market and making low income housing hard to attain. Those with means to purchase properties or rent are scattered throughout the country, while tens of thousands have had to flee to informal settlements along the Jordanian-Syrian border. Of the estimated 48,000+ who live in these camps, 80% are women and children. The Orthodox Initiative estimates that 55% of the Syrian refugees are children.
There is a shortage of medicines and vaccinations in Jordan, largely due to the influx of Syrian patients. There has been a re-emergence of TB, polio and measles. Because of this, vaccinations has been a top priority of the Jordanian government towards Syrians. Syrians are also no longer entitled to free medical services, as they once were before November 2014.
ICoHS is actively developing relationships with organisations and churches on the ground in Jordan providing aid to refugees and displaced people. Our focus will be enabling these organisations and churches to effectively address immediate needs – notably shelter, medicine, and education. The Churches have led the compassionate response to refugees in Jordan for decades; ICoHS wants to ensure this important ministry continues in the greatest capacity.