Jordan issues plea for continuation of donor programmes to Syrian refugee camps

Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Al Razzaz made a public plea on Wednesday to international donors to continue supporting Syrian refugee camps established in Jordan. Jordanian Prime Minister acknowledged that most refugees have not returned to their homes despite progress has been made by the Syrian government and Russian forces in reclaiming territories previously surrendered at the hands of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Prime Minister Razzaz supported during an international donor meeting that his country will need at least $2.4 billion in financial aid for the year 2019, to satisfy temporary refugee accommodation requirements. According to U.N. authorities, only 10.000 refugees have left from Jordan’s encampments and returned back to Syria. Jordan currently provides shelters to more than 1.3 million Syrians, who successfully fled to the neighbouring state upon the successful opening of the Nassib-Jaber border crossing in October 2018 by the Syrian army. The Jordanian Prime Minister cited many reasons for growing unwillingness of Syrian refugees to return to their homeland including among others the destitute conditions in war-torn cities, fears of imprisonment and forced military conscription.

In his message to international donors, Prime Minister Razzaz underscored he compassion for growing donor fatigue to sustain people afflicted from the protracted civil war in Syria but still, this assistance is invaluable in keeping the Jordanian kingdom afloat. The Jordanian Prime Minister endorsed the viewpoint that had it not been for donors, the kingdom would have already been immersed into a domino crisis – instigated by a transfer of insecurity conditions from Syria to Jordan.

For his part, the U.N. Humanitarian Aid Coordinator Anders Pedersen acknowledged that Jordan has already received since 2015 more than $6 billion from donor programmes and these largely contributed to the kingdom’s resilience. According to U.N. estimations, Jordan last year received more than $1.6 billion in aid to cover humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees. The situation is expected to worsen in coming years, given that the kingdom has already been supervised by an International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout programme, to recover a public debt of $40 billion, which reflects almost 95% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

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