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Kuwaiti contribution brings essential winter assistance to more than 50,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan

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An additional 50,000 vulnerable Syrian refugees in Jordan will receive much needed assistance this winter UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, announced today.

Thanks to the latest generous USD5 million contribution from Kuwait, UNHCR will be able to include another 14,300 Syrian refugee families in Jordan into its essential winter cash assistance programme. In preparation for 2017/2018 winter UNHCR and partners are aiming to provide support to more than 1.6 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees in the Middles East.

Kuwait’s timely donation will be dispersed thorough urgent winter cash interventions in urban areas in Jordan as a one-off grant via iris-equipped ATM machines.

Jordan currently shelters more than 655,000 registered Syrian refugees. The vast majority, almost 80 per cent, live outside of the three refugee camps. For most of them, this will be their seventh winter in displacement.

Despite improvements in access to the labour market over the past year, four out of five refugees outside camps fall below the national poverty line of USD 96 per capita per month. This means daily struggle and hardship in meeting the most basic of needs and accessing adequate shelter, food, healthcare and education.

Refugee are particularly vulnerable during winter months when temperatures dip below freezing as already desperate and destitute refugee families cannot cope with the costs of heating, insulation and adequate clothing.

“Winter cash assistance has proved to be the most effective and flexible way of supporting vulnerable refugee families in Jordan. This Kuwaiti contribution enables UNHCR at this critical time to help more refugee families to alleviate some of the suffering and burdens of the cold winter.” said Amin Awad, Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “The vast majority refugees use the cash assistance to cover the costs of their heating and to get the bare essentials including blankets, clothes and shoes” he added.

The donation will, in particular, support vulnerable families, including female-headed households, families caring for members with medical conditions, the disabled, the elderly, and families with specific legal and physical protection needs, amongst others.

Kuwait is a long-standing supporter to UNHCR. The country has contributed more than USD360 million to UNHCR over the last four years to address the critical needs of refugees and the internally displaced in Syria and Iraq crises.

UNHCR winter preparations continue throughout the Middle East and North Africa region with 1.25 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees and IDPs having already been supported.

More than 5.3 million Syrians live as refugees in neighbouring Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and beyond.