Jordan + 6 more

UNHCR Jordan Factsheet, October 2019

News and Press Release
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  • Jordan is one of the countries most affected by the Syria crisis, hosting the second highest share of refugees per capita in the world.

  • On average, 30,000 vulnerable refugee families benefit each month from assistance in form of a social (cash) transfer to cover their most vital and essential needs.

  • Over 159,000 work permits have been issued for Syrian refugees since 2016 up to now.

Working with Partners

UNHCR coordinates the refugee response under the leadership of the Government of Jordan, in a collaborative effort amongst the donor community, UN agencies, international and national NGOs, community-based organizations, refugees and host communities.

In August 2019, UNHCR facilitated consultations with MoPIC on the new Jordan Response Plan (JRP) 2020-2022. The new JRP aligns all sectors with SDGs and areas in need of support as per Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). UNHCR exercises its leadership and coordination responsibility in Jordan’s refugee response in line with the Refugee Coordination Model, which is applied in Jordan and manifested in the Inter Sector Working Group chaired by UNHCR. Currently eight sectors provide support within the Jordan refugee response. UNHCR co-chairs several sectors, namely the Basic Needs Working Group with NRC, the Health Working Group with WHO, the Protection Working Group with NRC (as well as the associated Child Protection Working Group with UNICEF and the Sexual and Gender Based Violence Working Group with UNFPA), the Shelter Working Group with NRC and the Livelihoods Working Group with DRC. These sectors provide information, advice and advocacy to high-level decision-making bodies in Jordan. UNHCR supports the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate (SRAD) - the Government agency in charge of the management and coordination of Zaatari and Azraq camps - to ensure that assistance is provided in the most effective and efficient way possible in accordance with international humanitarian standards and protection principles.

Main Activities


UNHCR Jordan was among the first UNHCR operation worldwide to introduce iris-scanning biometrics technology as an integrated systematic part of its refugee registration in 2013. Almost all registered Syrians are since enrolled with biometrics. Up to 4,000 refugees a day can be processed at the largest urban registration centre in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, UNHCR’s Anmar Hmoud Registration Centre in Amman. As of May 2019, UNHCR’s updated proGres v4 system was rolled out to the Jordan operation; ProGres v4 is a core component of UNHCR’s Population Registration and Identity Management EcoSystem” (PRIMES) which encompasses all interoperable registration, identity management and caseload management tools UNHCR Jordan was among the first three operations worldwide having moved from registration w/biometrics to identity management. While UNHCR handles the registration process, service providers and partners ‘validate’ or authenticate identities (on the basis of available evidence and interaction with UNHCR). allowing refugees to scan their iris for daily activities such as cash withdrawals, buying groceries at supermarkets etc.

In 2018, UNHCR Jordan started to implement a self-renewal methodology as part of its registration procedures, being once again among the very first operations globally to do so. The short-term objective of this innovative project is to empower persons of concern as data owners, by enabling them to validate and update data previously collected during registration. Self-renewal will save time for refugees when doing registration and renewal procedures, avoiding long waiting lines in UNHCR registration centres. The long-term objective of the project is to enable refugees to update their data remotely, and to have access to a unique, portable, authenticated digital identity, inter-operable with State population registries and Civil Registration and Vital Statistics systems. The self-renewal process will be managed through kiosks that include an Iris camera for biometric verification, a monitor, and a printer. 30 kiosks will be available in Amman, 10 in Irbid and 10 in Mafraq. In 2019, 20 booths are operational in UNHCR Registration Centre as a pilot phase. Read more here.

UNHCR has been directly providing psycho-social support and emergency cash assistance to SGBV survivors. This has been complemented through partnerships with local NGOs who provide specialized support to survivors in safe spaces in Jordan. Survivors are referred to health, legal, safe shelter options and other services. UNHCR also implements prevention activities such as women empowerment workshops, self-defense classes led by refugee women and various awareness activities within communities.

The Disability Task Force continues developing the Guidance Note on Disability Inclusion in GBV Programming, which aims to support a standardized approach among the GBV service providers in Jordan on disability inclusion in the GBV programming and to ensure that GBV prevention and response services are inclusive and well positioned to appropriately meet the needs of GBV survivors with disabilities.