With the influx of refugees from other countries in the region due to conflicts and wars over the past years, a country that already suffers from the lack of natural resource – the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has endured many challenges.
Palestinian Refugees in Jordan
According to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), over 2.1 million Palestinian refugees are registered in Jordan today. There are ten recognized Palestinian refugee camps in different cities in Jordan that accommodate 370,000 Palestinian refugees – 18 percent of the country’s population. Jordan hosts the largest number of Palestinian refugees.
More than ten thousand Palestinian refugees have fled the violence in Syria over the last eight years and sought refuge in Jordan. The majority of them live below the line of poverty and are facing numerous challenges with regards to their legal refugee status.
FACTS & FIGURES
• 2,175,491 registered Palestine refugees
• Ten official camps
• 171 schools, with 121,368 students
Syrian Refugees in Jordan
Jordan hosts nearly 1.4 million refugees who have fled the war in Syria since 2011. Although there are five refugee camps for Syrians in Jordan, close to ninety percent live in urban poverty within Jordanian cities while looking for work to survive. Many lack access to jobs or educational opportunities due to interrupted education, poverty, psychological trauma and statelessness. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR, eighty-five percent of Syrian refugees in Jordan live below the poverty line, with almost half being children.
Lack of Resources and Other Challenges facing Jordan Communities
Although the economy of Jordan is classified as an emerging and diverse economy, its economy has slowed down in the last few years. According to the World Bank, poverty is likely to have risen in Jordan since 2010 resulting in inflation, unemployment and sluggish growth.
Nearly a quarter of middle aged Jordanian are unemployed increasing the rate of unemployment to 18.3 percent. Thousands live below the line of poverty. Educational and employment opportunities are difficult to obtain for these vulnerable and poorer communities and keep many in a cycle of poverty.
Water supply and sanitation in Jordan is characterized by severe water scarcity, which has been exacerbated by forced immigration since 1948, as a result of the war and conflicts occurring in the neighboring countries.