Palestinian Refugees in Jordan Call for Urgent Action by UN Agency

Palestinian Refugees in Jordan Call for Urgent Action by UN Agency

The majority of PRS in Jordan face high marginalization and are food-insecure. Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

Displaced Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) in Jordan have urged the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to provide them with much-needed cash and medical assistance in order to be able to combat the deadly pandemic COVID-19.

The refugees called on UNRWA to secure their access to hygiene kit, including disinfectants, gloves, face masks, and medicines.

They further appealed to the Agency to shell out financial aid as their socio-economic situation has been exacerbated by the curfew and movement restrictions imposed in the kingdom.

The number of PRS in Jordan has remained relatively stable for a number of years, with 17,343 PRS recorded with UNRWA as of December 2019. Of these, 349 reside in King Abdullah Park (KAP), facing movement restrictions and a number of protection concerns.

Since the opening of Jabeer-Al Nassib border between Syria and Jordan, in October 2018, UNRWA has registered the return of 624 PRS individuals to Syria. As of November 2019, of those returnees, some 227 individuals were displaced again to Jordan for a range of reasons, including the unstable security situation in Syria, problems with civil documentation, lack of economic resources and livelihood opportunities, and high levels of destruction of homes and property.

A Comprehensive Food Security and Vulnerability Assessment conducted by WFP in 2018 indicated that the majority (67 per cent) of PRS were food-insecure or vulnerable to food insecurity. Twelve per cent of PRS female headed households were found to be food insecure compared to seven per cent of male-headed households. Food insecurity was even higher (78 per cent) in PRS households where the head of household was reported to be completely illiterate. Eighty-six per cent of surveyed PRS households were also reported to be in debt.

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