Saada, 85 years old Syrian refugee enjoying the sun after the last heavy rain with her granddaughter Farah, two years old.
JORDAN Appeal comes after other agencies announced to reduce health services and food assistance in camps in Jordan.
“The current lack of funding for the refugee response is undermining the great achievements made in over a decade”, warned Dominik Bartsch, UNHCR Representative in Jordan. There is growing concern that Jordan’s ability to include refugees in health and education might be eroded. “Sustained support over the years has allowed Syrian refugees to access the labour market. Now there is an imminent risk that the situation is sliding back into a humanitarian crisis with serious consequences for refugees and host communities.”
Recent announcements by the World Food Programme (WFP) to reduce the value of its monthly food assistance for refugees in Jordan’s refugee camps from 23 to 15 Jordanian Dinars, (some 32 and 21 US$ respectively) comes after several other reductions of assistance in recent months: non-government organizations that used to provide health services left Zaatari and Azraq camps leading to serious shortages and quality issues of remaining health facilities. Due to the funding gap, tens of thousands of vulnerable refugees are gradually being excluded from WFP’s assistance to prioritize the poorest families.
“Jordan has done so much, and donors need to recognize what is at risk”, said Bartsch. Determined and coordinated action is needed to “keep the success story Jordan alive.”
Lack of assistance is already exacerbating the vulnerability of refugees. Data by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, saw the number of refugee families who cannot pay their rent and are at risk of eviction from their homes rise by 66 per cent from December 2022 to February 2023.
Another consequence of lack of assistance is that it may push refugees on to irregular routes towards Europe. UNHCR is concerned about their protection after leaving Jordan as they are exposed to exploitation, abuse, and death. “The recent shipwreck off Greece was a stark reminder that people who do not see a perspective, make desperate choices”, said Bartsch hinting at the Mediterranean crisis 2015/16.
UNHCR in Jordan provides protection and solution services to refugees of all nationalities. It supports health, shelter, energy and provides cash for basic needs such as food or rent to the most vulnerable refugees. Based on anticipated funding limitations, in recent years, UNHCR’s cash programme could not support all vulnerable refugee families. Currently, a larger change in beneficiaries is being rolled out based on an improved targeting system for refugees in communities (in camps, all refugees continue to receive UNHCR cash assistance). The improved targeting will reduce the number of households supported, increase the number of women, men and children outside camps to over 150,000. UNHCR does not foresee to drop any of its activities planned for 2023.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Roland Schönbauer, +962 79 119 25 32, [email protected]