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UK reiterates support for Jordan in dealing with refugee burden

By JT - Jul 26,2015 - Last updated at Jul 26,2015

Planning and International Cooperation Minister Imad Fakhoury holds talks with British Minister of State for International Development Desmond Swayne and an accompanying delegation in Amman on Sunday (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation)

AMMAN — The UK on Sunday reaffirmed its support for Jordan as it continues to host Syrian refugees despite its limited resources and lack of proper international support.

At separate meetings with Deputy Prime Minister and Education Minister Mohammad Thneibat and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Imad Fakhoury in Amman, British Minister of State for International Development Desmond Swayne discussed refugees’ educational needs and the UK’s support for the 2015 Jordan Response Plan. 

Thneibat highlighted the challenges facing the Kingdom in the education sector as a result of the Syrian crisis as well as receiving refugees from other Arab countries, which constitutes increasing pressure on the Jordanian education system, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

With more than 130,000 Syrian students enrolled in public schools, the government has had to build new schools, add classrooms to existing ones and make 98 schools work on the two-shift system, the minister said. 

Moreover, Thneibat said there are 120,000 Palestinian students enrolled in UNRWA schools in the country, urging the international community to shoulder its responsibilities by supporting the UN agency, and voicing hope that the UK would help in calling for more support for UNRWA’s programmes for education and health.

At his meeting with Swayne, Fakhoury discussed economic reform programmes implemented by Jordan and the challenges resulting from the situation in the Middle East, a ministry statement said.

Fakhoury reviewed the current economic challenges and the burden borne by the Kingdom in light of the situation in the region, including hosting a “huge” number of refugees, which has taken its toll on the education, health and water sectors, especially in northern and central regions. 

The minister said that despite all the support given to Jordan, more funds are required for the 2015 Jordan Response Plan.

Swayne said the UK recently presented $110 million in aid to Jordan for its response plan, increasing its total contribution since the beginning of the Syrian crisis to $340 million, according to the statement.

 

As part of Swayne’s visit to Jordan, he went to Azraq Refugee Camp where 20,000 Syrian refugees reside, as well as an education centre in Amman that offers unofficial education to refugee children, according to a statement from the British embassy.

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