Jordan is an independent Arabic kingdom since 1946, located in the Middle East on the northern Arabian Peninsula. Jordan’s geographic location has made it vulnerable to the effects of political instability in the region. It faces external regional challenges, with the crises in neighboring Syria and Iraq causing influxes of refugees, greater health and education costs, and disruption to its trade routes.
Currently, Jordan hosts more than 600,000 (registered) Syrian refugees that fled the Civil War in neighboring Syria as well as refugees from Iraq and Yemen. The country has been relatively welcoming to refugees in the beginning of the conflict, but the prolonged presence of the refugees as well as the weakening economy has steadily challenged the government's ability to serve the refugees. Although many refugees are staying in UN run camps such as Zaatari, 90% actually live in mostly urban and crowded areas throughout Jordan. These refugees face additional survival expenses such as rent and utilities aside from food and healthcare.
The Jordanian healthcare system, with the support of aid agencies, is already strained. Additional stresses on the medical system are further compounded by the disproportionate distribution of physicians. Hospitals are found only in major urban centers. It has already been demonstrated a significant number of COVID-19 victims require advanced care and ventilator support.
Measures are being implemented and encouraged by the host government to limit the potential spread of the virus. The impoverished conditions of the camps, low health literacy and low economic opportunities have made the novel Coronavirus pandemic even more of a threat to the livelihood and future of the Syrian refugees in Jordan.
WCF sponsors the cost of Hygiene and Food Care Kits for the most vulnerable communities in Jordan, primarily Iraqi and Syrian Refugees, but also Yemeni Refugees and some of the poorest Jordanians. We will be working with on the ground partners such as Global Hope Network International, Alliance Church of Amman and Zarqa Nazarene Church. We are planning to serve as many as 2,500 families or approximately 15,000 persons throughout the country.
Jordan has 630,000 registered Syrian Refugees, but including non-registered refugees, the total is possibly 1.4 million. In addition, there are approximately 70,000 Iraqi refugees, 15,000 Yemeni refugees, 6,000 Sudanese refugees and others. About 10% of the refugees settled into official UN run camps such as the Zaatari camp. However, the vast majority end up in slums and poor urban neighborhoods in Jordanian cities. Thousands of these families were surviving on one simple meal a day and this was before the COVID-19 crisis. Rigid curfews were implemented here resulting in many lost jobs and greater hardships. The Ministry of Development has asked for our partner’s assistance to help families directly affected by the results of the pandemic.