UNHCR delivers joint remarks on refugee assistance in Jordan


Published: 2023-03-01 17:36

Last Updated: 2024-05-24 12:33

UNHCR delivers joint remarks on refugee assistance in Jordan
UNHCR delivers joint remarks on refugee assistance in Jordan

Tuesday, the UNHCR's Representative in Jordan Dominik Bartsch and the US Department of State Under Secretary for Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights Uzra Zeya delivered joint media remarks on the US support to refugees in Jordan.

The remarks started off expressing their solidarity with the victims of the deadly earthquake that struck Syria and Turkey on Feb. 6, describing it as a "disaster of unspeakable proportions," noting that it affected Syrian refugees as well.

"It is truly remarkable that some refugees came forward to enquire how they could support the relief effort with the limited funds at their disposal," Bartsch said.

- Refugees in Jordan -

The United States is UNHCR’s single largest donor on a local and global level, as well as the provider of the largest number of resettlement places to refugees from Jordan, with more than 3,000 departures last year alone.

"From very early on, Jordan allowed Syrian refugees access to health care, education and the labor market. These critical policy decisions have facilitated the inclusion of refugees into national systems, and they remain exemplary across the globe. And I wish to recall that Jordan was the first country to include refugees in its COVID 19 vaccination campaign, another example of its unwavering commitment to do right by the people in need of protection," Bartsch said.

Many of the 660,000 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR in Jordan have been able to rebuild their lives and support their families, as a result of both countries' contributions, he added.

- Declining support -

However, due to declining donor support and the ongoing economic challenges, an increase in humanitarian needs is expected which is causing concern.

"Our vulnerability assessments show that many refugee households are struggling, falling further below the poverty line. This is where cash assistance remains an essential lifeline to address basic needs and to allow refugees to live in dignity. Nearly a quarter of a million refugees currently receive this critical assistance from UNHCR," the statement read.

UNHCR is one of several agencies supporting refugees of all nationalities, including Iraqis and Yemenis, amounting to approximately 740,000 refugees registered with UNHCR, 46 percent of whom are children.

"We continue to work ever more closely with the private sector, civil society and development partners," Bartsch added.

- Maximum impact-

The statement explained that the goal is to maximize the impact on refugees' lives and host communities, adding that the UNHCR is "particularly keen to collaborate more closely with development partners to improve upon the coherence between humanitarian action and the longer-term development investment to ease the burden on Jordan create economic opportunities for both Jordanians and refugees."

Refugees are not "merely recipients of aid," but they wish to bring their skills to use, and contribute to the economy, it said.

"It is their resilience and determination that must guide our support," the UNHCR pointed out.

- Returning to Syria -

"Our mandate as UNHCR also extends to finding solutions and we remain hopeful that a return to Syria will be attainable in future, even if conditions for refugee return are not considered conducive at this point in time. Refugees themselves tell us that they want to return but they also reiterate their concern that they would not be able to do so in the present context," the statement read.

- Global Refugee Forum -

The UNHCR is preparing for the Global Refugee Forum in December in which the Kingdom assumes a prominent role as a co-convenor. The event is considered essential for renewing the support from the international community towards major host countries like Jordan, in addition to demonstrating international solidarity in action.