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Jordan raises concern amid UNHCR funding shortfall

By JT - May 27,2023 - Last updated at May 27,2023

A view of the Azraq Refugee Camp in the eastern desert (JT file photo)

AMMAN — The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Jordan has secured 22 per cent of its financial requirements for the fiscal year 2023. Meanwhile, Jordan has raised concerns about the repercussions of declining international support for refugees.

According to a report cited by Al Mamlaka TV, UNHCR Jordan has received $87.628 million out of a total requirement of $390.110 million, which represents 22.46 per cent of the overall funding for the current year up until May 23, 2023.

As a result, the UNHCR faces a funding shortfall of $302.481 million.

Jordan currently hosts approximately 61,000 registered Iraqi refugees and over 1.3 million Syrian refugees since the onset of the crisis in Syria in 2011. Among them, 659,941 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR. 

UNHCR has registered 740,676 refugees of various nationalities, excluding Palestinian refugees who are under the mandate of UNRWA, up until mid-May 2023.

In August 2022, UNHCR issued a warning stating that the situation of refugees in Jordan could deteriorate into a humanitarian crisis within a few months if urgent funding was not made available.

The grants allocated to support the Jordan Response Plan for the Syria Crisis (JRP) amounted to approximately $138 million by the end of April, according to the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation. This represents about 6.1 per cent of the required funding to support the response plan, totalling $2.28 billion for the year 2023.

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, affirmed to UN officials last Monday that the solution to the refugee crisis lies in providing the necessary conditions for the voluntary return of Syrian refugees. He stressed the importance of taking effective steps to assist refugees who choose to return, ensuring their security, safety, and meeting their basic living requirements.

Safadi expressed concern about the consequences of declining international support for refugees, as well as the reduction in services provided by UN agencies to refugees in Jordan. He emphasised the necessity of continuing to provide these essential services to refugees.

He further stated that Jordan has exceeded its capacity to accommodate refugees, especially in the midst of challenging economic conditions.

During a meeting with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres last Wednesday, Safadi underscored the significance of sustaining the services provided by UN agencies to Syrian refugees in Jordan, citing the country’s inability to bear additional burdens beyond what it has already shouldered for years.


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