AMMONNEWS -By Hanin Kreishan - Jordan‟s political economy is facing a real critical challenge because of the large amounts of Syrian refugees and the spillover effects from the Syrian Civil War.Refer to “Jordan Response Plan 2015 For the Syria Crisis”; Jordan has been hosting 1.4 million Syrians since the beginning of the Syrian conflict in 2011 until today, of whom 646,700 are refugees that have flooded across the border. In
addition, and refer to the Amnesty International report in 2015 “The Global Refugee Crisis- Conspiracy of Neglect”, the Palestinian refugees from Syria are estimated at 13,800 which is also severely draining for Jordan‟s economy and limited natural resources.
Amnesty International report in 2015 “The Global Refugee Crisis- Conspiracy of Neglect” highlights the way that most Syrians used to be initially allowed to enter Jordan through its informal border crossings.
“In September 2012 the official border crossing between Ramtha in Jordan and Dera’a in Syria was closed. Until mid-2013, Jordan allowed Syrian refugees to enter through its western and eastern informal border crossings it then closed its informal western border points, which are closer to populated areas of Jordan and Syria.”
On the other hand, the International Community has not fulfilled its pledge toward Syrian refugees in Jordan. Such as; what has been announced in an article of “UN Cuts Food Aid to Syrian Refugees In Jordan, Needs Donors To „ Step Up To The Plate‟ for Karin Laub in “Huffpost Impact” on Friday, July 31, 2015, argued that the World Food Program announced new cuts Friday in food aid for Syrian refugees in Jordan and continued;
“In August, food aid for the most vulnerable among them voucher recipients, or about 200,000 people, will drop from $28 to $14 per person per month and for the rest from $14 to $7, the WPF said.”
As a result; Jordan‟s fiscal position has been negatively impacted because they are hosting more than 1.4 million Syrians. The aggravated compression on public finances, the Jordanian government‟s expenditure of subsidies for the basic needs has increased on bread, water, electricity, which is further inflating the budget deficit. The negative fiscal impact has been exasperated since the flow of relatively cheap gas from Egypt has stopped, which has forced Jordan to accept the alternative of the expensive oil imports, at an annual cost estimated at US$2 billion. The Syrian and Iraqi borders have been seized by the armed groups which impact on the loss of the country‟s main trans-regional trade routes. The closing of the Syrian-Jordanian border severally impedes Jordan‟s access to major export markets in Europe through Syria. As well as, trade with Iraq has fallen; in June 2013 the total exports accounted for 20 % of estimated of U.S.$1.25 billion, that has fallen by almost 90 per cent in June, 2014, leading to an additional revenue
loss of over US$1.4 million per day. Although, the Jordanian government has a blueprint for development the economic and social Jordanian situation; “Jordan 2025” launched on Monday, May 11, 2015, it will improve the political and the economical Jordanian situation within 10 years, but blueprint efforts have not succeeded in finding work for those unemployed Jordanians, which is estimated of 12.90% in the first quarter of 2015 refer to the “Trading Economics website”.
The large amounts of Syrian refugees has driven down the Jordanian income as concurrently rising up the rent and the unemployment figures have from 14.5% in 2011 to 22.1 % in 2014.
“Between 160,000 and 200,000 Syrians are illegally working in the Kingdom, Labour Ministry Secretary General Hamadah Abu Nijmeh told Al Rai” The Jordan Times, June 20, 2015. The illegal Syrian workers are accepting very low salaries without conditions, which provides cheap labor for the Jordan market. Increasing numbers of illegal Syrian workers in the market in order to use the cheap labour, has increased the rate of Jordanians unemployment from 12.30 % in the fourth quarter of 2014 to 12.90% in the first quarter of 2015.Consequently, that has created a critical internal financial situation.
About Jordan macro-situation; and refer to the “Congressional Research Service; Jordan: Background and U.S. Relation” by Jeremy M. Sharp, Specialist in Middle Eastern Affairs, on December 2, 2014, Syrian Conflict Impacts are expanded, although The United States has stationed about 1,700 troops in Jordan as the largest aid donor, but Jordan keep searching for a greater assistance with border surveillance and reconnaissance to address further spillover from the war.
Finally, God bless Jordan, I love you my country.