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Challenges Facing Refugee Camps in Jordan

Jordan has taken a lead humanitarian role in assisting Syrian refugees throughout the ongoing Syrian crisis. Coming up on almost 3 years since the conflict began, the country has been resolute in its commitment towards its neighbour and in providing adequate care and relief aid to the Syrian refugees. However a recent report indicates that cracks have started to appear.

Camps like Zataari Refugee Camp are now struggling to keep up with the day to day operations due to the massive influx of people coming in from the other side of the border. The problem is further compounded by insufficient monetary funds and relief aid that is needed to adequately accommodate the needs of the refugee camp.

A recent report by UNHCR has identified some areas of concerns that apply to all refugee camps throughout Jordan collectively. This will be the topic of discussion today as we highlight these key areas that are getting affected due to lack of funds and abundance of refugees.

Lack of Education for Refugee Children

Education took a direct hit in the last few months. There are over 500,000 refugees currently living in Jordan. The Zataari Camp accommodates over 130,000 of them. Like many camps, it also has a makeshift school where Syrian children of different ages can receive an education according to their grade. However, with so many children pouring into these camps, the schools have run out of space as well as teachers. There are an estimated 200,000 children who are currently unable to pursue their education as result.

Substandard Medical Facilities

Ensuring proper care is becoming a near impossible task at refugee camps. People who need medical attention far outnumber the ground staff and the available equipment. Some of these are mild cases of cold and flu due to the extremely cold weather in the region this time of year. However, several refugees come in with injuries sustained while fleeing Syria. These injuries require surgery, as well as antibiotics and other medicines. Hospitals are reporting an across the board shortage. In addition, 60% of the mental health disorders are left undiagnosed and there are fears that levels of depression and anxiety are rising.

Poor Security

The refugee camps have expanded enormously over the last few years; some to such an extent that they resemble complete cities rather than refugee camps. There is a proper downtown area in the Zataari Refugee Camp now. That alone should give people an idea of just how much it has expanded over the years. This sort of expansion has come at a huge cost of safety and security. Refugee camps have a specific amount of resources allocated for such purposes. The larger it becomes, the more difficult it is to cover that ground. There have been reports of theft and assault on the outer boundaries of some camps. The situation is so dire in some areas that security doesn’t even venture there at all.

The solution to all this dilemma is of course money. Hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on humanitarian efforts in Syria. There is an ever present need to provide more relief for Syria to purchase books, clothes, blankets, medicine and accommodation for the refugees. Donate to Muslim Aid’s Syria relief aid campaign and lend a helping hand for a greater cause.

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