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Refugee families unable to pay their rent — UNHCR

2. Zaatari
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — UNHCR revealed “disturbing” figures on the status of refugees in Jordan, saying at least half of the refugee families registered with the UN refugee agency are unable to afford paying their apartment rent, Al-Mamlaka TV reported.اضافة اعلان

It quoted UNHCR’s Spokesperson Meshal Al-Fayez attributing the information to a study conducted by the agency a week ago, and that its results have been published recently.

The results showed that many refugees are unable to secure housing, and that half of Jordan’s refugee families have difficulty covering their monthly electricity bills. Therefore, they are at a risk of losing the crucial power service.

In view of the economic crunch, the study said that several refugee families had to take the tough decision of forcing their children to drop out of schools and enter the labor market, to help their household with living expenses.

“About 85 percent of households had to reduce their daily portions of food to make ends meet until the end of every month,” Fayez said.

He asserted that the figures are concerning, and it must send a clear signal to donor countries and entities to accelerate procedures for disbursing funds to avoid slipping into another humanitarian crisis.

Funding received by UNHCR so far reached 37 percent of the amount needed to cover programs offered to refugees in Jordan, Fayez added.

Due to the low and delayed funding from some entities, the UNHCR appeals to the international community to accelerate funds of some $34 million through the end of the year to cover monthly cash assistance programs for medical services to families which need treatment in Jordanian hospitals, according to Fayez.

He said that the UNHCR provides monthly cash assistance to families most in need.  About 30,000 refugee families receive a modest amount of money every month that helps them with their daily lives, he explained. But given the current cost of living, high electricity prices and post-pandemic economic conditions, as well as the loss of jobs for many Syrian refugees, refugees are facing increased difficulties, and are in urgent need of extra assistance.

In a related development, a study on Jordan’s refugee situation in the second quarter of 2022, involving 2,963 families, showed that 95 percent of Syrian refugee families and 94 percent of non-Syrian refugees did not have the money to pay their bills.

The UNHCR said that 25 percent of family providers that were included in the study are either disabled, or suffer a chronic disease that impacts their ability to take up jobs.

Participants in the study were asked the question of whether or not they have been able to pay for certain services and commodities, during the last quarter of 2021, and 54 percent of the participants in the study of Syrians replied that they were unable to pay electricity bills, another group of non-Syrian refugees said the same.

More than one-third of the families participating in the study described the financial situation as worse, when compared to last year’s situation. A majority among them believes that the future financial situation will be even worse.

The UNHCR warned of a humanitarian crisis occurring in Jordan within months, if the needed financial aid failed to materialize.

The UNHCR is currently in need of $34 million to implement its basic health and financial programs, until the end of the year.


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