Syrians continue to seek refuge in Jordan; needs rising
CARE appeals for US $1.4 million to scale up emergency response
As the security and humanitarian situation in Syria worsens, hundreds of people are fleeing across the border to neighboring Jordan and registering with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on a daily basis. As of June 24.151 Syrians have been officially registered with UNHCR, with the total number of Syrians in Jordan estimated to be over 100.000. “Over the past three months, we have seen a fairly dramatic increase in the influx of Syrians. The numbers of Syrians seeking refuge in Jordan and in need of assistance has almost doubled from April to now”, says Eman Khatib from CARE Jordan, who has just returned from the border area of Mafraq. “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 are 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. “Most of the families rent small flats or storage rooms. They live in two small rooms with up to three families, without a fan or a refrigerator.”
The population of Mafraq, a small desert town about 15 kilometers from the Syrian border, has risen immensely 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 as well as health and education services. The families have been living on money they have put aside since the conflict intensified, but their savings are almost depleted. Now they urgently need support to be able to pay rent and food and access health care and education.”
CARE is assisting Syrian refugee families mainly in Mafraq and in Amman with cash support and has thus far distributed roughly US $75.000 of emergency cash assistance since the beginning of the year. In the beginning of July a further 350 Syrian households will be targeted with a further round of 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”, says Khatib.
CARE Jordan has extensive experience in working with refugees. “We have a lot of experience in working with refugees. For the past six years we have been receiving refugees from Iraq in our center in Amman and offered them a wide range of services. This time, however, the challenges are much bigger. The cost of living has increased immensely in the past years. We urgently need more funds to support the Syrians.”