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Kingdom prioritises citizens’ needs over refugees — interior minister

By JT - Jul 10,2024 - Last updated at Jul 10,2024

Interior Minister Mazen Faraya say on Tuesday that Jordan's primary commitment is to its citizens, prioritising their needs over those of refugees, who it believes should return to their own homes (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Jordan's primary commitment is to its citizens, prioritising their needs over those of refugees, who it believes should return to their own homes, Interior Minister Mazen Faraya said on Tuesday.

Addressing the "Embracing Innovation: Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation in Border Management" forum, Faraya highlighted the inadequacy of international assistance to Jordan in addressing the refugee issue.

Jordan continues to shoulder its responsibilities towards refugees, he added, stressing that the sustainability of these efforts depends heavily on robust international support.

He added, "Jordan is currently hosting approximately 1.35 million refugees, including 233,000 Syrian children born since 2011, making it the largest refugee host per capita."

He also highlighted the significant financial burden placed on Jordan by the "protracted" Syrian refugee crisis, exacerbated by insufficient international funding for Jordan's response plan.

Only 5.8 per cent of the required funding for the first half of the plan has been secured, he said, indicating a critical shortfall in support from donor countries and organisations.

Citing a joint study by UNHCR and the World Bank, he highlighted alarming trends such as the potential for renewed humanitarian crises among refugees, rising poverty and unemployment rates both inside and outside refugee camps, and an increase in child labour.

These findings underscore the urgent need for increased international assistance to Jordan, which is crucial to maintaining essential services amid the country's mounting economic challenges, he said.

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