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As of August 2014, the United Nations had registered 619,000 refugees in Jordan, with over 80,000 registered in the refugee camp Za’atri.

Approximately 80 percent of Syrian refugees in Jordan live in urban areas in the north of Jordan, while the remaining 20 percent live in the Za’atari, Marjeeb al-Fahood, Cyber City and Al-Azraq camps.

Northern Jordan has been dramatically altered by the Syrian civil war.  Since the uprising began in March 2011 right across the border in the city of Deraa, Jordanians have experienced the conflict via the thousands that have crossed into their country through the towns of Jabir and Ramtha.

Many residents of Northern Jordan feel as Syrian as they are Jordanian – they have lived and married together, crossing the border easily. When the conflict first began, many Syrians went to Jordan to stay with relatives – many didn’t consider themselves “refugees.” Yet as the war escalated, the situation became critical: Syrians without relatives in Jordan began to cross the border.

Local NGOs such as Islamic Relief began to assist as Syrians opted to stay and work in Northern Jordan, housing refugees and assisting those whose savings were dwindling. Yet the Jordanian government didn’t officially recognize the growing refugee crisis until 2012, when increased fighting saw an average of 1000 people a day crossing the border. To cope, Za’atari refugee camp was set up in July 2012 in a windswept desert.

Riots have broken out since the camp’s creation and extreme weather in January 2013 caused extreme flooding. Nevertheless, NGOs and aid agencies are trying to improve the camp’s condition as the conflict rages on.


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Migration Policy Centre (MPC) Policy Brief

Syrian refugees in Jordan: a reality check

As of February 2015, over 622,000 Syrians had registered with UNHCR in Jordan. The protracted nature of the Syrian crisis has been dramatic: both the Syrian refugees themselves and the host communities in Jordan are paying a high price. Further political and economic deterioration may follow as the number of refugees is simply too great for Jordan to deal with. The EU and its member states have been actively involved in responding to the Syrian crisis both in political and humanitarian terms. The European approach has primarily consisted in providing support to the countries bordering Syria, in order to contain the crisis within the Middle East. However, as of 2014 and early 2015, worrying changes in the Jordanian Government’s attitude towards Syrian refugees show how such an approach is becoming unsustainable.


Download the full Policy Brief (573 KB)


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Jordan country study

  • Mohamed Olwan
  • Ahmad Shiyab

The MPC conducted an exploratory study on Syrian refugees in Jordan by Professors Mohamed Olwan and Ahmad Shiyab. The study sample consists of 105 interviews, which were conducted with the household heads of Syrian families residing in four governorates.

The results show that most respondents had entered across the land borders and that about 19% of Syrians in Jordan arrived illegally. 90.5% of the respondents stated that they did not fear expulsion, a matter which reflects the Syrian refugees’ trust in the Jordanian government. Moreover, 99% of the respondents stated that they had not been arrested by the Jordanian security services for reasons of residence in Jordan.


Download the full Jordan country study (330 KB)


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Special Report in Za’atari Camp 

Journalist Carla Fibla was in Za’atari in late 2012 to collect stories from Syrian refugees.

Every day, thousands of Syrian refugees walk early in the morning to the entrance of Za’atari camp and form a long queue. For hours, they wait for lorry deliveries, fighting for each centimetre of space.

Nobody knows what is going to be distributed, yet they wait because they have nothing. Screaming and arguing, many complain of the “inhumane” system that their “Jordanian brothers” have established in Za’atari camp.

Some are in better positions than others: Relatives send some money; others have set up small shops. Everyone depends on their strength to resist and convince themselves that this is just a temporary step in their lives, that one day they will go back. As many refugees told us: “We’d rather go back than stay in these inhumane conditions.”

Their stories:

Fuad’s Story

We ask God to let us go back to Syria and live in this tent there.

Ahmed’s Story

Some Jordanian traders are taking advantage of us.

Battoul’s Story

We are tired of sharing everything, baths and kitchens.

Abdelkarim’s Story

We don’t know what to play here.

Imane’s Story

Under the rain, the sun, in the middle of the wind, I queue because it is our only chance to survive.

Omar’s Story

If they establish a system, people will follow.



13 comments on “Jordan
  1. forget mbewe says:

    salam alaykum im zimbabwean muslim bro im looking for any syrian parents want to get their daughter married have better life in my country pliz help me can provide ticket fair

  2. AnJay says:

    How to help young refugees directly from Poland?

  3. safwan omar omari says:

    Dear Sirs,
    i want your e-mail , i am doing a research about Syrian refugees in jordan and i need some information please

  4. Jessie says:

    I am so happy these good people are getting out to someplace safe. Sure it’s terrible they suffer so much in the process, but it is a Duty and Privilege to help as many as possible. I wish I could get over there to help the effort.

  5. Al Morce says:

    Today’s numbers:
    9,000,000 people displaced + 2,000,000 fighting with the regime = 11,000,000 people don’t want to fight the regime. Majority?

    • Abu Zaki says:

      To All my dear brothers in Islam who are Fighting for Nothing,; I am writing you this, as a Muslim from Far East, and I am not a Syrian. You are fighting to bring down the regim (goverment) of Syria,but you have create more suffering to your owm people, the people of syria. Every time when I saw the picture of refugees, my tears came down seeing the kind of Life they are facing.
      So,…. what kind of fighting you are fighting For,….? is that you name as JIHAD,…? to create killing and suffering to most women and Children,..? Allah Subhana wataala never teach Us as Muslimin to create a disaster
      and suffering and torching to our Muslim Brother and Sister. Untill when you going to let them in the Fefugees Camp,..? What happen if your mother and sister have to suffering like the people in the refugees Camp,…?
      I donot think you are fighting for Islam, But You are fighting for your Egoist and power. May Allah give HIS GUIDANCE AND HIDAYAH TO YOU AND ALL OF US. WAASSALAM

      • Omar Salah says:

        Dear Abu Zaki,

        I share the grief and the sorrow with you and I agree with you that the crime committed against our muslin brother and sisters of Syria and else where are beyond telling, only Allah SW can serve justice for them and Allah SW tells us in the Quran that who ever does and atom weight of good deed will see it and whoever does and atom weight of evil deed will also see it in the hereafter . I know a lot of people are talking about the suffering of the innocent people of Syria, but what can we do for then as Muslims instead of UN and others to alleviated their suffering.

    • Rauf says:

      salam alaykum im Pakistani muslim im looking for any syrian parents want to get their daughter married have better life in my country pliz help me can provide ticket fair

      • Mustafa says:

        @Rauf you are so stupid it’s not even funny. Why should they (Syrain parents) give their daughter to a man that they don’t know. Someone who posts online. You are so amusing it’s not even funny. If you want to marry a Syrian girl go look for one in real life and stop with the absurd comments. Use your common sense sometimes you Pakistani people are so delusional. Anyway Pakistan is a mess the Islamic intolerance to other religions and sects is worse, leave them alone they are far better left in Jordan. Pakistan is the last place they would want to go.

  6. Grace says:

    I need information on who to contact to actually go in to the refugee camps with an art project idea. Who do I talk to? How do I gain access? Someone please help! you can access our website, for more info on what we would like to accomplish

    Dream Room Syria

  7. Whats wrong with Obama? He hates me and is doing nasty ignorant things to me using Nasa Space Administration… Can you have a word with him? WHIP him if you have to.. He owes me a lot of money for REPORTS that WHITEHOUSE CABINET OFFICIALS should be doing.. I am single handedly doing all the work while he and associates use HEROINE all day… Tell him to keep his VOMIT to his self also when I eat and drink my food… I love you… Mr. Edward D. Drew III/Universal

  8. Graham says:

    More people need to know how to help. Please help spread the word about this and ISIS’ fight against humanity.

  9. Soumia says:

    Dear Madam, dear Sir,

    I am looking for an internship in your offices in Jordan. Indeed, I want to help refugees around Amman.
    Please contact me in order to get more information via my email address.

    Your faithfully,


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