Jordan helping refugees from 57 countries, hosting second highest number in the world

Children at a Syrian refugeees camp in Jordan (Petra)

Syrian refugeees at a camp in Jordan (Petra)

By Makram Ahmed Al Tarawneh
Editor-in-Chief, Al Ghad (Jordan)

AMMAN: When the crisis broke out in Syria in 2011, hundreds of thousands of Syrians sought refuge in the Kingdom of Jordan. At that time, the international community announced that it would not leave Jordan alone in bearing the burdens of this gigantic movement to seek safe heaven.

However, the elegant words and the flowery language they used proved to be hallow.

The facts on the ground were frustrating and bleak, as Jordan was left on its own to face the heavy onslaught of the asylum and its accumulations that have extended to this day.

Throughout the 13 years since the calamity started, the international community remained blind to what was happening, and did not pay attention to the Kingdom left groaning under the burden of embracing 13% of the refugees in the world, coming from 57 countries and making 33% of the total population.

According to international and official reports, Jordan is a key country in the international refugee system, hosting the second highest number of refugees per capita in the world, despite the harsh economic challenges it is facing.

This is at a time when the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees acknowledges that the international community is increasingly turning away from its humanitarian role in this situation. Jordan has been forced to bear a much heavier role.

The decline in international funding directed to support the Jordanian response plan for the refugee crisis has forced Jordan to use its public funds to fill the gap, a fact that has exacerbated the country’s financial challenges, hindered the implementation of national plans in the areas of education, health, and work, and imposed additional pressure on its already depleted resources.

The international community’s response to national plans to enable Jordan to provide for refugees’ needs remained at a lower level than required.

For instance, the 2023 response plan received only 24.2% of its funding requirements, while Jordan adheres to its humanitarian commitment, and the situation between 2015 to 2022 has not fared better.

Jordanian trucks ready to supply aid to needy people (Petra)

Jordanian trucks ready to supply aid to needy people (Petra)

Jordan still adheres to its position on the significance of offering asylum from a humanitarian dimension, and that remains the case with refugees from the Gaza Strip.

Amman is exerting political and diplomatic efforts to alleviate the famine threatening the residents of Gaza Such a proactive step has won respect from everyone, locally and internationally.

However, the international community is repeating the attitudes it had in the past, leaving the Kingdom alone in providing aid, except in cases where other countries are participating timidly, which does not guarantee sustainability.

The international community is fully aware that Jordan has exhausted its capabilities to sustain the provision of such much-needed aid.

Unfortunately, Jordan will not be able to remain steadfast in its endeavors alone while its limited capabilities and capabilities are exhausted.

The humanitarian aid provided to the needy daily requires constant supply from other countries as well because the day will come when Jordan’s stores will be empty and the country will no longer be able to guarantee the flow of assistance to the Strip.

The issue goes beyond a country sending a plane to drop off aid in partnership with Jordan, appearing as a savior to the Palestinian people, and showing off on television. What is required is to provide the Kingdom with everything it needs to send to the Gaza Strip, as Jordan cannot guarantee its ability to continue providing this aid on a daily basis, to alleviate the suffering of the Gazans. .

What happened with the Syrian refugee experience is something that is impossible to repeat, and we all hope that the international community is aware of this fact so that it does not contribute to compounding the suffering of people.

Jordan is currently hosting an emergency international conference with the participation of Egypt and the United Nations for the humanitarian response in Gaza.

Maybe some countries and organizations will rise to their responsibility instead of betting on Jordan’s ability to put up with the dire refugee situation indefinitely!

Makram Al Tarawneh

Makram Al Tarawneh

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