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Refugees constitute third of Jordan population — World Bank official

By Khetam Malkawi - Dec 19,2015 - Last updated at Dec 19,2015

Refugees are seen at the Zaatari camp in this photo taken earlier this year. The camp, some 90km northeast of Amman, is currently home to 79,253 (File photo)

AMMAN — Although the number of refugees from different nationalities in the Kingdom varies from one estimate to other and is difficult to identify, a World Bank official last week said, in Jordan “one in every three persons [is] being a refugee”.

Colin Bruce, senior adviser to the World Bank Group’s president, made this statement at a press conference last week to launch a World Bank new report, without elaborating on numbers of refugees or their nationalities.

The government did not reject or confirm this percentage but noted that figures are difficult to estimate.

Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Mohammad Momani, who is also government’s spokesperson, told The Jordan Times it is difficult to identify the total number of refugees in the country, “especially if we want to include Palestinians in these estimates”.

According to UNHCR, Jordan is the second largest host of refugees per capita in the world following Pakistan.

Still, the agency has only some 700,000 persons from 41 nationalities registered as refugees in the Kingdom, said Mohammad Hawari, senior mass information and communication associate at UNHCR.

Hawari, however, added that the number differs when adding number of Palestinians who are registered with UNRWA.

An infograph that was recently published on the World Bank Twitter account states that there are 2.7 million registered refugees in Jordan, which stands for 41.2 per cent of the total population.

Data included in the infograph will be published in the World Bank’s migration and remittances report for the year 2015 and is based on figures from both UNHCR and UNRWA.

According to the UNRWA website, there are 2.1 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan; with only 140,000 of whom non-holders of Jordanian nationality.

As for refugees from other nations, Syrians come on top, with more than 600,000 registered with the UNHCR. However, the government says there are 1.5 million Syrians in Jordan, stressing that more than 80 per cent of Syrian refugees dwell in host communities rather than in designated camps.

Iraqis come second with more than 30,000 registered refugees in Jordan.


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