AMMONNEWS - Interior Minister Ghaleb al-Zu'bi said Tuesday that the more than 1.3 Syrian refugees in Jordan needed a thorough strategy to organise their daily affairs in order to provide them with the best possible services and guarantee their rights during their stay in the Kingdom.
He was addressing a forum on Syrian refugees held at the Dead Sea, which was organized by the interior ministry in association with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and was attended by the directors of the Public Security and Gendarmerie departments.
The minister said the gathering will discuss the repercussions of the refugee crisis on the labour sector and granting the refugees legal work permits as well as urging them to register with the competent authorities. These topics will be dealt with in a series of discussion papers that will be presented to the forum by experts, he added.
The registration and employment of refugees, he said, will not impact the privileges and services provided to the refugees by international organisations, but would open the opportunity before them to find jobs that suit their qualifications without adversely affecting the local labour force.
Zu'bi also said the aid the Kingdom had received from the international community and organisations had not spared the country from the fallout of the refugee crisis, which had impacted all the vital sectors and services, urging more support and launching development projects that benefit the refugee-hosting communities.
UNHCR Representative to Jordan Stefano Severe said 667,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan are registered with the refugee agency in addition to refugees from Somalia, Sudan, Yemen, Iraq and Palestine. He said the agency recognised the high financial, economic and security cost of hosting such a large number of refugees and would assist the Kingdom in providing basic services to them.
Director of the Syrian Refugees Affairs Directorate, Brig. Gen. Jihad Matar said World Bank estimates put the cost of the Syrian refugee crisis on Jordan at about $2.2 billion annually. He also said that just 10 per cent of Syrian refugees are living in the refugee camps, which complicates the provision of the proper infrastructure to improve the level of services.