WER sends emergency shipment to Middle East as Iraqi refugee crisis grows
Two 40ft containers of emergency medical and general relief supplies are due to arrive in Jordan in the next few days. A further container of clothing, soap and general humanitarian supplies is being prepared for shipment to Jordan within the next week.
Alex Haxton, Director of Operations for WER, and Jeremy Horner, WER Programme Manager, are currently in Jordan to carry out an evaluation of the current situation and the ongoing needs of Iraqi refugees in the region, and to assess the use of emergency supplies sent late 2006 by WER UK and its global WER associates. They have described an escalating humanitarian crisis facing both Iraqi refugee and Jordanian families within Jordan.
Reporting from Amman, the capital of Jordan, Alex Haxton said,
"The Iraqi refugee situation is one of the most major crises which Jordan has faced for many years, yet is in effect a hidden crisis with little news hitting the UK media. As Jordan struggles to cope with the influx of refugees crossing into the country, the cost of living within Jordan is continuing to soar. Hundreds of thousands of people within Jordan, including both Jordanians and Iraqi refugees who have sought safety within the country, are finding that their income can not compete with the escalating cost of living.
"Property prices in Jordan have increased three-fold within the last 2 years. The price of kerosene has doubled within the last year, meaning that thousands of families can no longer afford to heat their homes."
The UNHCR estimates that there are over 700,000 Iraqi refugees now living in Jordan. With no official refugee registration process in place, those fleeing Iraq do not have refugee status within Jordan. They are living in poor quality accomodation and refugee children are not able to attend school.
WER is working in Jordan in partnership with local organisation, Manara, who have been providing relief supplies and support into Iraq since 2003.
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