Still more to be done for refugees in Jordan

The ongoing armed conflict in Syria has created an influx of over 800,000 refugees to neighboring countries since spring of 2011. Many cities have been completely destroyed, massive human rights violations and evidence of systematic acts of brutality, including torture and arbitrary arrests in Syria have been committed as Syrian security forces have responded to protesters with extreme violence.

Most Syrians have lost relatives, homes, property, businesses and come to Jordan with a hope to find shelter and support. However, the large refugee entry creates financial challenges for Jordan. The country already hosts large population of refugees and the inflow is still in process. The country’s financial ability to supply to such an amount of Syrian refugees is very limited. Jordan is still dealing with the Iraqi and Palestinian refugees in the country.  Jordan was getting about 3,000 Syrian refugees per day when I was there.

The urgent needs of the Syrian urban refugees (refugees not living in the camps and are getting lost in the general population):

• Nutrition and food security

• Sanitary care and personal hygiene

• Housing and utilities

• Survival at winter time, warm clothing and blankets

• Employment and secure living

• Psycho/social support, integration into the communities, education

Despite some assistance already provided, the needs are many, and the government is not able to address them fully; the resources are insufficient.  The NGO’s are doing what they can but it is bigger than anyone realized and it is still growing.  We are only talking about the refugees in Jordan, not the hundreds of thousands more Turkey, Lebanon and in Iraq. The biggest number is in Jordan.

When I was there a couple of weeks ago we went to the homes (or what you might want to call a home) of some of the refugees. We took down their names and how many members in the family and the area that they came from and how long they have been in the Jordan.  We asked them how much money they had left and how it was being spent.  These were families that had their paperwork and were trying to find jobs in Jordan to survive and get the food and medical care that they needed for their families.  The homes were very basic and they had a couple of mattresses, blankets and a small kitchen and one bathroom (Arabic toilet – in the ground) no shower, nothing else.  The house was damp from no heat, and they had no other furniture other than the mattresses. I went one day to visit a family of 14 people in one room, we were told what they needed and when we went back to deliver, their young baby (3 months) had died.  I heard stories like this daily.

I am going back on the 18th of March and request your assistance again in making a donation so I will be able to help these families and the new families just arriving in Jordan, and buy the needed supplies.  I hope to be sending a container load of medical equipment to Jordan within the next week – it will go to Aqaba. A number of medical supply places in the Puget Sound area and also individuals have made donations that are filling the container.

An apartment will be rented in Amman or on the outskirts of the city to set up a clinic for some medical surgeries and also a women’s clinic will be expanded to take more people.  Another place will be rented in Irbid that is close to the Syrian border since a lot of people come in there for treatment- it is really a small apartment and the doctors are seeing everyone in all rooms – there is no privacy.  But they are able to provide some basic care and then refer the patient to one of the hospitals that they are working out of.

This next trip we will have a number of doctors, dentists, pharmacist, general practitioners, surgeons, etc. that will be joining.  It is at the beginning stages so we do not have the final number yet.

I am sorry that I need to keep asking but please it is important any amount will help. Thank you.

~Rita

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