CARE helps Syrians seeking refuge in Jordan
As the security and humanitarian situation in Syria worsens, every day hundreds of people are fleeing across the border to neighboring Jordan and registering with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). As of 24 June, more than 150 Syrians had registered with UNHCR, with the total number of Syrians in Jordan estimated to be more than 100,000.
‘During the past three months, we have seen a dramatic increase in the arrival of Syrians,’ said Eman Khatib from CARE Jordan, who has just returned from the border area of Mafraq. ‘The numbers of Syrians seeking refuge in Jordan and in need of assistance has almost doubled since April.’
Most of the Syrians entering the Mafraq area are from Homs area and have been on the road for days to reach Jordan, fleeing with little but the clothes they were wearing. The majority of the Syrian families are waiting about five days at the reception centers, prior to being relocated to either private accommodation or within host communities.
Mr Khatib said the population of Mafraq, a small desert town about 15 kilometers from the Syrian border, has multiplied in the past months. ‘The capacity of the city and of the host families is stretched to the maximum, putting high pressure on municipal services such as water and sanitation, health and education services.’
‘Families have been living on the money they put aside when the conflict intensified, but their savings are running out. They urgently need support to be able to pay rent, buy food and access health care and education services,’ said Mr Khatib. CARE is assisting Syrian refugee families in Mafraq and in Amman with cash support and has distributed around US $75,000 in emergency cash assistance this year. In early July a further 350 Syrian households will receive cash support.
‘A lot of the refugees have experienced trauma or were injured in the conflict. Many of them have lost family members or are dealing with depression. We are urgently appealing for US $1.4 million to scale up our emergency response and to also provide health care and psychosocial support,’ said Mr Khatib.
CARE Jordan has extensive experience in working with refugees. ‘For the past six years CARE has been receiving refugees from Iraq in our center in Amman and offering them a wide range of services,’ said Mr Khatib. ‘This time, however, the challenges are much bigger. The cost of living has increased significantly in the past years and we urgently need more funds to support the Syrians.’