publish date 2023-07-20 09:11:56
Syrian refugees in Jordan are experiencing new suffering after the decision of the World Food Program to reduce the food aid provided to them, and the international community’s indirect declaration of abandoning its responsibilities towards them. About 1.3 million Syrians live in Jordan, of whom 660,260 are registered with the United Nations. Jordan is the second largest country in the world hosting Syrian refugees after Turkey.
A statement issued by the World Food Program office in Amman, on Friday, said that the unprecedented funding crisis prompted it to reduce its monthly food aid to refugees in Jordan, starting in August, and about 50,000 refugees were excluded from aid, explaining that it would give priority to families. The most needy by directing limited resources to meet their needs, after the program has exhausted all options, including reducing the value of cash assistance at the beginning of this month by a third for all refugees outside the camps.
The decision to cut and reduce aid came as a surprise to the refugees, especially after a previous announcement confirming that the value of aid for those residing outside the camps from refugee families classified as among the most in need of food aid, will reach 15 dinars (21 US dollars) per person per month, instead of 23 dinars, while refugee families Those classified as medium in need, the value of the assistance they receive will be reduced from 15 dinars per person to 10 dinars.
The refugee Muhammad Aref, who lives in one of the popular neighborhoods of Amman, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that his children sleep without food, and that he is unable to pay the house rent, and it is possible that the owner of the house will expel him to the street, adding that “the food coupon used to cover me up.” Me and my kids, and shame on everyone who cut coupons. I used to get a basket that included basic foodstuffs such as sugar, rice, tea, oil, meat and chicken that we rarely got, and we could not buy more than three chickens per month, and in light of the recent decisions, we will not even dream of chicken. We escaped death, and now we face an unknown fate.”
Aref believes that “the cuts were not sufficiently studied, and did not consider the humanitarian situation of the refugees. I was classified among the most needy families, and I did not receive any aid except for food aid, and despite that it was cut off.” He suggested distributing what was available to all refugees fairly, noting that two months ago he could not get any work, and cutting off aid means that things are getting narrower. And the suffering expands.
In turn, the refugee Adel, who preferred to be satisfied with his first name, says that cutting off aid to the refugees means that the international community will announce its abandonment of them. When the prices of goods, services and house rents soar, even getting enough food was not possible on many days. I do not intend to return to Syria under the current circumstances, as no one guarantees his safety, and whoever returns if he is not arrested will go to military service.”
The Syrian refugee calls on the international community to help maintain the minimum level of services that refugees receive as long as the option of returning to Syria is not on the table. Saying that he fears that the Jordanian government will adopt measures that will push Syrians to leave due to economic conditions, such as stopping work permits, doubling fees for those who hold them, or reviewing residency and work facilities.
For her part, refugee Umm Ali told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “Difficult days await us. Coupons were not enough for us, but we used our share of foodstuffs to exchange them for other things, such as providing clothes for children, and we were trying to rely on handicrafts to fill the shortfall in needs. Our situation is better than others, but we owe an amount of up to 3 thousand dollars, and sometimes we have to buy supplies, while we do not have the money, and the new decision leaves us to the unknown, while the thought of returning to Syria is excluded.”
In the context, the director of the Arab Renaissance Organization for Democracy and Development, Samar Muhareb, told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, “The reduction in subsidies was expected, and this is not the first time. Or the host countries, which bear the problems resulting from the difficult living conditions of the refugees, and try to provide them with job opportunities in light of unemployment exceeding in Jordan, for example, 22 percent of the population.
Muhareb adds: “We are facing a new reality, and we must reconsider more seriously to search for sustainable solutions, including the voluntary return of refugees after providing the appropriate conditions for that, or providing means of living that guarantee them a decent life, and hosting part of them in the settlement countries. The refugees are living a tragedy, and with the cessation of aid, their conditions will be more difficult, but this will not prompt them to return to their country, and what is happening is only increasing the suffering. The tragedy of the refugees is visible, inside and outside the camps, and those in the camps suffer less economically due to non-payment of house rent and water and electricity bills, but their crises are greater because of their presence in an inhuman place.”
And she emphasized that “reducing support for the World Food Program was preceded by a reduction in support for all associations and organizations working in helping refugees. Funding began to decrease significantly after the Corona crisis, then it decreased even more after the war in Ukraine, and all these pressures prompted associations to reduce their services, despite the fact that the needs of refugees impose them.” Priorities, and in the past it was possible to focus on things that are not essential, but today providing food will become a priority instead of training and empowerment, and this has become a governmental demand as well, and we must focus on sustainable solutions, and work together as a government and organizations to develop a logical response plan that meets the basics life for refugees.
The Resident Representative of the World Food Program in Jordan, Alberto Correa Mendez, said in previous statements that the program is very concerned that reducing aid will increase the suffering of thousands of refugee families, and make them more vulnerable to food insecurity, especially the most vulnerable groups, including children. women and people with special needs. He added, “Despite the reduction in aid, the program still faces a severe funding shortfall of $41 million until the end of 2023. Without obtaining the necessary funding, the program will have to reduce its assistance further.”
And the Jordanian Foreign Minister, Ayman Safadi, said in tweets on “Twitter” that by the first of next August, the World Food Program will cut off vital support for Syrian refugees in Jordan, calling on the program to review the decision because of its repercussions on several levels. He warned that cutting aid to refugees would increase their suffering, and that Jordan was unable to bridge this gap.
A study measuring poverty among refugees in Jordan, conducted by the UNHCR and the World Bank team on poverty in the Middle East and North Africa region, concluded that 39.8 percent of them, except for Palestinian refugees, suffer from food poverty, which is estimated at 16.71 dinars per month ($23.5). ), and showed that “the rate and depth of poverty among refugees outside the camps is relatively higher than that of refugees inside the camps,” after evaluating the in-kind assistance that includes shelter, water and electricity provided.
The study said that “15.54 percent of the refugees living in the camps suffer from food poverty, compared to 44.84 percent of the refugees outside the camps. Using the international poverty line standard, which is $5.5 per day per person, the poverty rate among all refugees is 66.25 percent, and they suffer Of which 58.79 percent are refugees in camps, 67.8 percent are refugees outside camps, and 21.15 percent of refugees in Jordan live on less than $3.2 a day.
The New Arab
#Syrians #Jordan #Reducing #aid #tragedy
Source : اخبار الاردن