Overwhelming majority of Jordanians continue to empathize with refugees

Drone shots of Amman, Jordan

A new study released today by UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency – reveals that 94 percent of the Jordanian public view refugees in a positive manner, with the majority stating that they are empathetic towards people forced to flee their country and the challenges they continue to face.

Carried out in coordination with NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions, a Jordan-based research institute, the study surveyed, through phone interviews, a sample of Jordanians living in the Amman, Mafraq and Karak Governorates, in order to get an updated analysis of Jordanian public perception of refugees.

When asked about the Jordanian Government’s response towards refugees, over 90% of respondents rated it as positive.

“We have said it time and time again, but the Jordanian public and government continue to lead the way in showing kindness and generosity towards refugees, and we now have the data to back that up,” said UNHCR Representative to Jordan, Dominik Bartsch.

Despite the overwhelming empathy towards refugees, at the same time, the survey reveals that 87 percent of Jordanians believe that there are too many refugees in Jordan and 83 percent say that Jordan has done more than it needs to help refugees.

“It is clear that the Syria crisis has increased pressure on national systems. However, the continued inclusion of refugees in education, health services and the job market is part of the response we jointly put in place with the Government of Jordan. Until refugees can safely go back to their country of origin, support from the international community is critical in providing sustainable solutions for protracted conflicts,” added Bartsch.

As part of the survey, 73 percent of Jordanians stated that they would be willing to personally help refugees in the Kingdom, with 40 percent already having donated money to support the most vulnerable.

Finally, over 92 percent of respondents also indicated that they have been negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to the deterioration of the economy and increased unemployment. While this did not translate in a direct change of opinion towards refugees, it represents nevertheless an important element to consider in future surveys. In this regard, this first wave of the survey will be followed by two additional waves in 2021 to continue to closely monitor the Jordanian public perception of refugees.

Based on the results of the survey and coinciding with its 30th Anniversary in Jordan, UNHCR confirms its continued commitment to help Jordan bear the burden of hosting refugees and work to achieve solutions which allow refugees to rebuild their lives in safety and dignity.