UNHCR warns of a resurging humanitarian crisis in Jordan

Funding falls short of meeting basic needs

(File photo: Jude Taha/ Jordan News)
AMMAN — The refugee situation in Jordan may become a humanitarian crisis in a matter of months if urgent funding is not provided, UNHCR, the UN refugee agency, warned in Amman on Monday.

In a press statement, the  UNHCR said that it lacks $34 million to implement life-saving health and cash programs in 2022.

“Refugees still suffer from the economic hit from COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, and now also from rising utility tariffs,” said UNHCR Amman Representative Dominik Bartsch.

“If no action is taken now, human suffering and the cost for the international community will be much higher,” he stressed.

Jordan hosts some 760,000 refugees, mainly Syrians (670,000), Iraqis, Yemenis and other nationalities. Over 80 percent live in Jordanian communities.

According to the UNHCR’s recent vulnerability radar, their socioeconomic situation in and outside camps is increasingly precarious. More and more refugees feel compelled to borrow money to buy food or pay their rent. About 85 percent of Syrian refugee households and 93 percent of refugees from other countries were holding debt in the first quarter of 2022 (up from 79 and 89 percent, respectively, in the third quarter of 2021). All refugees outside camps were three times more exposed to eviction threats than in 2018.

The UN agency added that food insecurity among refugees is also on the rise. A worrying 46 percent of refugee parents say they eat less so that younger children have enough on the table. In addition, an increasing number of families are sending their children to collect rubbish and earn a few dinars, which leads to school dropouts.

A few weeks ago, refugees currently receiving food assistance were notified that the amounts will have to be reduced for lack of resources.

“This announcement is a clear warning sign about rapidly declining international support,” said Bartsch.

“We are very concerned about the increasing despair among refugees who see themselves confronted with yet another experience of uncertainty.”

The UNHCR received over 400 calls on its helpline in the first week after the announcement, and numerous messages from worried refugees through other channels.

“In the name of refugees and the organizations supporting them, I appeal to the international community not to forget Jordan and its refugees,” the UNHCR representative said.

“If funding does not come fast, it is feared that the situation is going to slide back into a humanitarian crisis in a few months’ time,” Bartsch warned. اضافة اعلان



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