Jordan: UNHCR Operational Update, February 2018
The Azraq Centre for Employment opened on 18 February, including a job fair with 24 companies and over 850 vacancies.
89 refugee students (Iraqis, Yemenis and Sudanese) received one off cash assistance for higher education, including 27 selected for DAFI scholarships in 2018 academic year.
40 different companies met during the World Future Energy Summit, including energy suppliers and innovators
High profile visits
On 28 January, UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie visited Zaatari refugee camp to meet with Syrian refugees. She called on world leaders to end the conflict, impressing upon the UN Security Council members to visit the refugee camps and meet with urban refugees in Jordan to observe first-hand their plight seven years into the conflict. Special Envoy Jolie met with a Syrian family and visited the UNHCR-funded TIGER Girls (These Inspired Girls Enjoy Reading) program that empowers Syrian girls in Zaatari Refugee Camp through academic and social skills courses. Special Envoy Jolie held a press conference at the camp and called on the continued need for international support to Jordan. She concluded her visit with a meeting with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Mr.
On 29 January, the German President Steinmeier and First Lady Elke Büdenbender visited Azraq refugee camp, as part of a wider visit to the Kingdom acknowledging the ongoing support to Jordan by the German Government, including through humanitarian aid and the Jordanian German University partnership. The focus of the visit to Azraq included the use of innovative Iris Guard technology in delivery of assistance, and discussions with students benefitting from German funded DAFI scholarships. Germany has provided nearly $68 million in assistance to refugees in Jordan since the onset of the Syrian crisis as one of the operation’s main donor contributors.
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi visited Jordan between 10 and 14 February to highlight the country’s continued efforts in the Syrian refugee response and reaffirm his solidarity and support for the Kingdom seven years into the conflict in Syria. After his meetings with Government officials, including the Prime Minister, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Interior and the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, High Commissioner Grandi spent a day in the field to meet refugees, starting by visiting a garment factory that employs 2,500 people, including 20 Syrian refugee women recently hired from both Zaatari camp and urban areas in Amman. He also visited Azraq camp speaking with DAFI scholars currently enrolled in Jordanian universities and with refugees who have participated in online blending learning courses through the University of Geneva/InZone. Following Azraq camp, Mr Grandi visited Zaatari camp where he spoke with refugees at the Zaatari Office of Employment and visited the site of the largest solar plant in a refugee settlement in the world.
Overall, the High Commissioner highlighted the strong commitment to refugees shown by the Government of Jordan, noting in particular the positive steps in refugee employment and the potential of innovations such as solar energy which serve as a model in refugee response across the globe.