Palestinian Refugees Rally Outside of UNRWA Office in Amman

Palestinian Refugees Rally Outside of UNRWA Office in Amman

Palestinian refugee schoolgirls in Jordan hold up placards during a demonstration by students and teachers against funding cuts in 2015 (AFP)

Dozens of Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) joined a vigil held outside of the office of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) to protest their dire humanitarian conditions and precarious legal status.

The refugees lifted banners calling for their basic rights and for urgent humanitarian action to save their children’s fate.

UNRWA officials reportedly noted down the refugees’ demands and pledged to take serious measures in response to their appeals.

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 inpiduals to Syria. As of November 2019, of those returnees, some 227 inpiduals 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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