Exponential growth of Syrian refugees and their needs

Report
from Danish Refugee Council
Published on 28 Feb 2013

The number of Syrian refugees in Jordan has now passed 300,000. The humanitarian community is struggling to respond to the rising number of refugees who need proper accommodation, food, clothes and health assistance.

The flow of refugees entering Jordan is increasing exponentially and several thousand cross the border from Syrian every night. The Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and its implementing partner the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO) are among the humanitarian actors working hard to provide necessary humanitarian aid to the rapidly growing number of refugees with multiple needs.

“I left because I was afraid for my children. Life in Amman is very difficult too, because we don’t feel that the Jordanians want us here,” said a young mother, who came with her three children to Amman from Homs, but without the children’s father. She was among the 120 vulnerable Syrian families who received emergency aid from DRC and JHCO in Amman Wednesday February 27 through a project supported by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection (ECHO).

In recent months, DRC and JHCO have distributed blankets, clothes, 400 heaters and gas cylinders and tent winterizations kits to vulnerable Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp, in Amman and in Ma’an.

“Within the last month 80,000 new refugees have been added to the number of refugees in contact with UNHCR. We and the rest of the humanitarian community are struggling to respond to their needs,” says Maurizio Crivellaro, country director of DRC Jordan: “The Syrian refugees do not have access to sources of income, leaving them dependent on humanitarian aid as the cost of living here is similar to that of European cities, particularly if they are in Amman.”

DRC and JHCO will continue the emergency distributions in the coming weeks. Next week an additional 750 tent winterization kits including heaters and gas cylinders, and 23,420 packages of clothes will be distributed in the Zaatari Camp which is the largest refugee camp in Jordan. The camp has now developed into a city of more than 130,000 people. The focus on meeting the needs of the refugees in the camps have reduced the capacity to provide assistance to the refugee population in urban context, e.g. in Amman.

“The seven of us live in a three-room apartment that costs 200 JOD per month. We are running out of savings and soon we will not be able to pay our rent. We desperately need cash assistance in order to keep our house and pay for the medical attention that my husband requires,” said a mother of five, who also came to the distribution center in Amman Wednesday to receive aid.

DRC has been operational in Jordan since 2003 with a temporary permission to operate in emergencies provided by the Ministry of Interior. Since July 2012, DRC has been assisting the Syrian refugees arriving in Jordan in cooperation with JHCO. DRC is providing urgently needed winterization assistance to displaced Syrians and is supporting and capacity building JHCO through secondment of staff and trainings

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