Over 80,000 refugees have left Jordan through resettlement since 2003 — UNHCR

5. Baqaa Refugee Camp (JNews)
An undated photo of Baqaa refugee camp. (File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Over 80,000 refugees have left Jordan through resettlement opportunities to 23 countries since 2003, however Jordan is still the second-largest refugee-hosting country in the world relative to its population, according to the UNHCR.اضافة اعلان

There are at least 600,000 Syrian refugees registered with the UN in addition to about 2 million from Palestine and a few thousand from other countries.

The UNHCR’s latest update, posted on its website, clarified the three reasons for refugees to seek resettlement places in third countries were: educational scholarships, labor mobility schemes, and family reunification.

Lilly Carlisle, the UNHCR Jordan spokesperson, told Jordan News that the resettlement procedure happens annually with third countries offering openings and criteria to the UNHCR, followed by negotiations over whether the criteria are hard to meet or if capacity can be increased.

Carlisle said that there are 5,000 resettlement opportunities in 2022, with placements in 11 countries, and that the refugees are chosen based on eligibility for the criteria of the third country and the vulnerability of each case separately.
... every year only 1 percent of refugees globally have the opportunity to resettle elsewhere.
“Usually, any refugee has three solutions globally: resettlement, return, or integration. Sadly in Jordan the integration solution is not valid since the rules for granting citizenship don’t apply for refugees in many cases,” Carlisle said.

UNHCR Jordan Representative Dominik Bartsch, in comments to local media outlets, said that every year only 1 percent of refugees globally have the opportunity to resettle elsewhere. While this makes it harder to offer such pathways to refugees, they often contribute to sharing the international responsibility of supporting refugees.

Ala’a Alkurdi, a 23-year-old Syrian refugee who came to Jordan in 2013 with her family from Daraa, expressed anger at the fact that she might lose the opportunity of coming back to Jordan if she decided to return to Syria, as she would only be able to come back on a tourist visa but not as a refugee.

“We can’t even go on a holiday, which doesn’t make any sense even if you consider refugees temporary residents,” Alkurdi said.

Carlisle told Jordan News that any refugee around the world who decides to leave the asylum country is no longer considered a refugee. However, she added, that if it can be established that that there is still an ongoing persecution of the person in his or her original country then they can “definitely reapply” to the UNHCR to be granted permission to return to Jordan.

She added that the UNHCR can consult on a refugees case if they decide to return home but confirmed that upon departing Jordan they would no longer be considered refugees.

Former minister and economist Jawad Anani told Jordan News that the return or resettlement of refugees has an effect on the Jordanian economy, but he emphasized that the effect might be minimal since refugees who resettle in a third country were probably not included in the local labor pool, either due to the low employment rate or intense competition in labor market.

“As for refugee investors in Jordan, they are less likely to consider going back to their original country, especially since Jordan offers citizenship for those who meet the requirements,” he added.

Read more Features
Jordan News