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Support for Syrian refugees in the Zaatari Refugee Camp and Jordanians in the Mafraq and Irbid Governorate in the field of social assistance and shelter

The war in Syria has forcibly displaced more than 1.4 mn Syrians, of which 657,628 are refugees registered by the UNHCR. Of these 21%, or about 140,000 persons, are living in camps (source: UNHCR, 21.02.2018).

Refugee camps are one of the most pathogenic environments that Syrians end up in. Overcrowding and poor hygiene are the main factors contributing to the transmission of epidemiological diseases (measles, meningitis, cholera etc.). Lack of suitable shelter means that the people are deprived of privacy and continuously exposed to meteorological factors (e.g. rain, cold, wind). Another problem for the refugees is the daily supply of food, hygienic products and how to meet other basic needs.

The refugee crisis has burdened the Jordanian state services which are unable to respond to the needs of the poorest Jordanians and provide them with good-quality social services. The northern Governorates of Al-Mafraq and Erbil in particular are overcrowded due to the influx of refugees from Syria. In the Erbil Governorate there are about 177,000 people, of which 135,779 are refugees registered in the UNHCR, accounting for almost 8% of the population. However, it is estimated that there are twice as many unregistered refugees. The Al-Mafraq Governorate is inhabited by about 550,000 people, with 157,951 refugees registered in the UNHCR, accounting for about 29% of the population. The Zaatari refugee camp, inhabited by 78,994 Syrians, is located in the Al-Mafraq Governorate. Since its creation in 2012, more than 400,000 refugees have passed through this camp.

The Jordan Response Plan for 2017-2019 notes that 13% of Jordanian households are vulnerable to food insecurity, and most (72%) of the Syrian refugees are threatened with food insecurity. More than 1/4 of the Syrian refugees have no access to an adequate diet. The rising food prices further aggravate the hard situation of the poorest Jordanians, leading to greater tensions in the local communities.

The crisis in Syria has seriously strained the Jordanian housing market. The prices for renting a home in the Al-Mafraq Governorate have risen twofold since the beginning of the war in Syria. Jordanians with a low income find it hard to find a place to live, not to mention setting aside any sums for renovation. In the Zaatari camp, Syrians live in 2,343 tents, 2,738 semi-permanent shelters, or 683 new caravans, while 1,583 families have been resettled under the ongoing camp restructuring (JRP data 2017-2019).

Currently many refugees staying in Zaatari do not receive adequate support or have access to a safe shelter. Effective actions to secure shelter can significantly improve the situation of refugees and their capacity to meet the basic needs.

Support for Syrian refugees in the Zaatari Refugee Camp and Jordanians in the Mafraq and Irbid Governorate in the field of social assistance and shelter

The main aim of the project is to improve the quality of life, prevent dirty hands diseases and strengthen health resistance among Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp and Jordanians in the Al-Mafraq and Erbil Governorates. The project will be implemented from 4 April 2018 until the end of the year.

The project will support the most vulnerable groups in their access to shelter and to social assistance in the Zaatari refugee camp and the Governorates of Al-Mafraq and Erbil. The most deprived Syrian and Jordanian families will receive building and renovation materials (e.g. paint, glass, metal rods, clay, mortar, sheet metal, bricks, tools), food packages (e.g. groats, rice, pasta, cereals, flour, sugar, oil, canned foods, beans, peas, concentrates, nuts and dried fruit) and hygienic packages (e.g. soap, shampoo, wet wipes, sanitary napkins, laundry detergents, toothpaste and toothbrushes, diapers, toilet paper, cleaning agents). Homes of families with many children will be supplied with homework furniture (shelves, desks, chairs). Families raising at least two children under 5 will receive first aid kits. Persons receiving hygienic packages will be able to attend meetings on hygiene and first aid. Under the project, 100 seedlings will be planted, to repel such annoying insects as mosquitoes, flies or midges.

In all, the programme will cover 21,785 persons. Aid will reach the most deprived Syrian and Jordan families living in the refugee camp in Zaatari and in the Governorates of Al-Mafraq and Erbil.

Support for Syrian refugees in the Zaatari Refugee Camp and Jordanians in the Mafraq and Irbid Governorate in the field of social assistance and shelter

From 1 April to 31 December 2018, Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp and Jordanians in the Al-Mafraq and Irbid provinces were provided with aid in terms of social welfare assistance and shelter.

Eighty-six families (68 residing in Zaatari, 17 Jordanian ones residing in the Al-Mafraq and Irbid provinces) received sets of repair and construction materials. They helped improve the quality of residential and living conditions: among others, sanitary facilities were repaired/replaced, the electric installation was secured, the roof and walls, the doors and windows were repaired/sealed, the walls were also repainted, new rooms were separated, new glasses were installed in windows. Each family that received the repair and construction set was also given 3 sets of seedlings (bay laurel, chinaberry, lemon balm), which are natural repellents. When these seedlings are planted around one of the households, they also affect five other neighbouring houses.

Six hundred and six families received food parcels with, among others, rice, sugar, sunflower oil, tea, beans, lentils, wheat, pasta, canned fish, tomato sauce, powdered milk, halva, tahini.

Two thousand four hundred and eighty-five families received hygienic parcels with, among others, shampoo, soap, sanitary towels, toilet paper, washing-up liquid, washing powder, shaving cream, tissues, wet wipes, toothpaste, toothbrush, towels, razors.

Three specialists in nutrition and hygiene held 30 meetings pertaining to the promotion of healthy lifestyle and hygiene. Two thousand four hundred and eighty-five persons, who represented families receiving food and hygiene parcels, participated in the meetings.