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Theme 2: Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Dear Jordan Educator participants,

In the first prompt, we shared resources and reflections on Syrian refugees and western political responses.  This week, we focus on the situation of Syrian refugees in Jordan.  There are currently over 657,000 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency), and estimates of the number of registered and un-registered Syrians in Jordan are over a million.  Around 120,000 Syrian refugees live in camps in Jordan, the largest being Zaatari camp (population around 80,000) and Azraq camp (population around 30,000).  The remaining refugees mainly live in areas of northern Jordan among the host community.

During the programme, we will have an opportunity to meet with humanitarian workers supporting Syrian refugees.  To prepare for these discussions, please post your response arising from the resources and questions below to the Field Notes, as we start our learning on these issues.

Initial Thoughts on Situation of Syrian Refugees

To gain an insight into the daily lives of Syrian refugees, watch these two short videos produced by UN Women and the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC).  Reflect on each prompt question before watching the videos.

ABC News and UNICEF video: What issues do you think face Syrian children living in a refugee camp in Jordan?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxsajk10-SI

NRC video: What issues do you think face Syrian refugee families living outside the refugee camps?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebq8MzVpu1I

After watching both videos, what differences do you notice between the experience of refugees living in a camp and those living in host community areas?

Reflections

Based on the videos, resources (see below) and any additional research, reflect on the response to the needs of Syrian refugees.

  • What are the key needs and challenges for Syrian refugees that you have identified through your research?
  • What types of responses are required? What gaps would remain and how could these be addressed?
  • What are the different actions required by government agencies, donors, the UN and NGOs?

We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Resources

Refer to the resources at the end of this post.  The UNHCR portal for the Syria response is a source of the latest data and published reports, with a section dedicated to the response in Jordan.

The resources include media articles on the living situation in camps and potential developments in the context in Jordan, following negotiations around the Supporting Syria conference held on 4th February in London.  Links to two published reports on education for Syrian refugees provide detailed material from the humanitarian sector to identify needs, responses and gaps in camp and host community contexts.

UNHCR Portal: http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/country.php?id=107

Education in Zaatari camp: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2017/jul/29/thousands-syrian-children-jordan-zaatari-camp-missing-education

Solar power in Azraq refugee camp: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/jordan-azraq-refugee-camp-first-world-run-entirely-solar-energy-a7743726.html

The ‘Jordan Compact’ deal on refugees and trade: https://reliefweb.int/report/jordan/jordan-compact-new-holistic-approach-between-hashemite-kingdom-jordan-and