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UNHCR provided cash assistance worth $70 million to a quarter million refugees in Jordan in 2022

By Rana Tayseer - Apr 02,2023 - Last updated at Apr 02,2023

A view of the ZaatarI camp for Syrian refugees, some 80km northeast of Amman (JT file photo)


AMMAN — The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provided cash assistance worth $70 million to more than a quarter of a million refugees in Jordan over the past year.

The UNHCR, in its 2022 Regional Cash Assistance Update report, said that 2.178 million refugees in the Middle East and North Africa region received $247 million — $152 million for Syrians and $95 million for people of other nationalities — as cash assistance during the year 2022.

An additional 2.3 million individuals received $73.2 million in cash assistance to prepare for winter in 2022.

In Jordan, 268,591 refugees received $70.092 million, of whom 255,453 were Syrian refugees who received $63.760 million, as well as 13,138 refugees of non-Syrian nationalities who received $6.332 million in 2022.

The financial requirements of the commission in Jordan amounted to $408.8 million for the year 2022, while they amounted to $390.1 million for the year 2023.

Jordan hosts nearly 62,000 Iraqi refugees registered with UNHCR, and more than 1.3 million Syrians since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, including 661,854 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR until the end of last February.

Commenting on the report, economist Hosam Ayesh told The Jordan Times that the Kingdom must take a stronger stance with regard to supporting refugees, and there should be projects that can be established in cooperation with donor countries to employ refugees.

The government should consider creating a fund funded not only by donor countries, but also by other countries in order to help maintain a good level of services for refugees, Ayesh said.

“Failure of donor countries to fulfil their commitments will lead to capacity problems to adapt to the difficult conditions experienced by Jordanians and refugees, and this will place more burdens on the government,” he added.

UNHCR said that it provided cash assistance in 2022 in 15 areas of operations in the Middle East and North Africa region in addition to Turkey, and granted multi-purpose cash assistance to meet the basic needs of refugees and internally displaced persons.

It also provided grants for livelihood in Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco and Turkey, grants for health purposes in Egypt and Jordan, grants for educational purposes in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Morocco, Syria and Turkey, as well as grants for securing shelter in Algeria, Lebanon, Mauritania and Yemen.

Around 67 per cent of the families who were interviewed for a UNHCR-related survey reported that cash assistance played a major role in improving their living conditions, and 18 per cent said that cash assistance led to a significant improvement in their lives, according to the UN agency.

Cash assistance is still the preferred method of assistance, as indicated by 76 per cent of the sampled households, while 14 per cent indicated that they prefer a combination of cash and in-kind support.

Eighty per cent of households indicated that they have reduced spending to buy food, 54 per cent reported that they had obtained a loan, while 40 per cent reported that they were unable to pay the rent.

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