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5,800 refugees returned from Jordan to Syria in 2021 — UNHCR

By Batool Ghaith - Jan 02,2022 - Last updated at Jan 02,2022

Jordan is currently home to 672,952 refugees registered with UNHCR, according to the UN Refugee Agency (Photo courtesy of UNHCR)

AMMAN — In 2021, approximately 5,800 refugees returned from Jordan to Syria, which took place on a voluntary basis, independent of UNHCR, according to UNHCR Spokesperson Lilly Carlisle.

Carlisle noted that “there are many different reasons refugees cite when it comes to return”.

However, the majority of refugees (around 96 per cent) do not see themselves returning to Syria over the next year, according to a survey carried out by UNHCR in October 2021, Carlisle said.

“Despite this, most refugees say that they still believe they will return to Syria one day,” she added.

According to Carlisle, Jordan is currently home to 672,952 refugees registered with UNHCR.

“As well as returning to Syria, 3,990 refugees departed Jordan through resettlement to third countries such as Australia, Germany, Canada, France, Norway, Ireland Sweden, the UK and the US. A total of 138 refugees also left Jordan through family reunification employment and educational opportunities in other countries,” Carlisle told The Jordan Times on Sunday.

She pointed out that in 2022, UNHCR Jordan is appealing for $408 million in funding. 

“This funding will go towards providing protection and solutions to all nationalities of refugees living in Jordan, such as through ensuring the up to date registration data of refugees and asylum seekers, providing cash assistance, referrals to healthcare, legal counselling and support for those who have faced sexual and gender based violence,” Carlisle said.

UNHCR will also focus on supporting the Jordanian recovery and helping refugees to access improved livelihoods, due to the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, she added.

“As the prospect for immediate return remains elusive, most Syrians are anticipated to remain in Jordan for the foreseeable future, creating a need for sustained support both for longer-term development efforts inclusive of refugee needs and immediate humanitarian interventions for the most vulnerable,” she explained.

Carlisle highlighted UNHCR Jordan’s commitment to continue to work with the Jordanian government, the Ministry of Health and the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management to ensure that refugees have continued access and are receiving their COVID-19 vaccination.

Over 74 per cent of refugees living in camps are vaccinated against COVID-19 and 48 per cent of those living in urban areas, she continued.

“In December 2021, UNHCR Jordan started distributing a small cash compensation for refugees living in urban areas who have received two doses of the vaccination [JD7.5] per person to cover the transportation costs incurred when travelling to their nearest vaccination centre,” Carlisle indicated, 

She noted that more than 68,000 refugee families have received this compensation so far with further distributions planned in January.

According to UNHCR, Jordan remains the second largest refugee host per capita worldwide. 

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