As Jordan’s second refugee camp is officially opened tomorrow, international aid organisation CARE Australia is on hand to provide much-needed support to newly-arrived Syrian refugees.
There are nearly 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, and the country’s only refugee camp at Zaatari is already home to around 100,000 people. Azraq refugee camp will be officially opened on Wednesday to provide urgent assistance and protection to approximately 50,000 refugees fleeing Syria.
CARE Emergency Manager Megan Chisholm said services at Zaatari and in Jordan’s towns and cities are already under pressure as refugees and the local community struggle with increased accommodation and living costs and access to over-stretched public services. ‘The new camp at Azraq will provide vital life-saving assistance and shelter to people fleeing the conflict.
While it will initially be home to 50,000 people, it can be expanded to support 130,000 refugees if people continue to flee Syria.’ CARE will provide new arrivals with vital information on how and where they can access services such as healthcare, and food. CARE has also created a number of community centres and friendly spaces in Azraq to provide a safe haven for vulnerable refugees, including women, who are struggling to cope with the psychological impact of war.
Ms Chisholm said, ‘CARE has found that the social and psychological impact of war on families is increasingly worrying. Our trained staff will identify the most vulnerable refugees with a special focus on female-headed households, the elderly, disabled and single men. Female refugees, especially those fleeing Syria without their husbands, are particularly vulnerable. Women usually prioritise the health and wellbeing of their families over their own, and are often the last ones to ask for health or psychological support. ‘We will provide refugees with counselling, engage them in recreational activities and teach them how to cope with stress and parenting skills. Our centres will also act as communication hubs, enabling refugees to connect with the outside world and stay in touch with their families to reduce isolation,’ she added.
CARE will be working closely with the refugees, identifying community leaders and setting up committees so refugees can voice their concerns and be part of the management of the camp. Both women and men will be identified as community leaders so the specific needs and concerns of various groups are raised and addressed appropriately.
To donate to CARE’s Syrian refugee appeal, visit www.care.org.au or call 1800 020 046.
CARE Australia is an international humanitarian aid organisation fighting poverty, with a special focus on working with women and girls to bring lasting change to their communities.
Media interviews with CARE staff in Australia or Jordan are available. For more information please contact CARE Australia Senior Media Officer Helen Walsh on 03 9009 7121 or 0412 449 691.