UN agencies in Jordan sound alarm, as refugees facing growing challenges

[16-03-2021 01:07 PM]

Ammon News - After a decade of the Syria crisis that shed its lights on Jordan and the refugees alike, the UN agencies in the Kingdom have expressed grave concern about the fate of hundreds of thousands of refugees living in the country.

During a videoconference meeting, Monday, on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the conflict, the United Nations in Jordan, including UNHCR, UNICEF, UNRWA, UN Women, UNESCO and WFP, are calling on the Jordanian government, public and international community to continue to stand in solidarity with the refugees.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan Anders Pedersen said: "Jordan has been a generous host of Syrian refugees for a decade with the help of the international community, providing assistance to refugees in the camps and host communities alike. As we look forward to continuing providing basic services, we need to find sustainable solutions to not only scale up our collective efforts but also expand the Jordan Compact. Now is the time."

UNHCR Representative in Jordan Dominik Bartsch noted: "While a political solution that would allow the return of refugees to Syria is the ultimate goal, but as they are still in Jordan, we must ensure that sufficient opportunities are available for refugees, alongside Jordanians, so that they can be productive members of society."

Representative of UNICEF in Jordan Tanya Chapuisat stressed: "Ten years on, the children of Syria have grown into the youth of Syria, while the next generation, born as refugees, continue to face uncertainty on the prospect of ever returning home. UNICEF continues to work with the Government of Jordan to help all vulnerable children and youth, regardless of their status or nationality, to survive and thrive.

"Now more than ever, after the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s health, wellbeing and learning, we are grateful to our supporters who continue to work with us to help prevent a lost generation"

Director of UNRWA Affairs in Jordan Marta Lorenzo noted: "For decades, the government and people of Jordan have responded with solidarity to all refugees. The Syrian crisis has lasted almost twice as long as the Second World War. Palestine refugees from Syria have become double refugees, first from Palestine and now from Syria.

"Forced into poverty, they rely on UNRWA’s cash assistance and other services to cover their basic needs. Good neighbors help when times are tough. Solidarity from the international community is more urgent than ever to help all refugees live with dignity."

WFP Representative and Country Director in Jordan Alberto Correia Mendes said: "Food insecurity among refugees is now the highest since the families started coming from Syria 10 years ago. According to a WFP assessments, a quarter of refugees across Jordan are food insecure and 65% are on the edge of food insecurity, a stark increase since the pandemic started.

"Families are asking their children to eat less, taking them out them from school, sending them to work or even to beg. We must stay the course, as families are in urgent need of support; WFP’s assistance already comprises 60% of families’ total income."

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