Operation: Opération: Jordan



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Key Figures

2018 year-end results
428,410 primary healthcare consultations provided through partners
120,000 Ministry of Labour work permits issued, including renewals, with around 50,000 work permits currently valid
63,550 people of concern received legal advice or assistance, with UNHCR intervening for some 1,610 people in detention
32,500 households were supported through cash assistance each month
6,500 best interest determinations conducted for children at risk
6,390 cases submitted for resettlement and 4,400 refugees resettled
2019 planning figures
100% of people of concern will be registered on an individual basis
38,000 refugee households will receive cash grants 
5,000 best interest assessments will be conducted 
1,250 survivors of sexual and gender-based violence will receive psychosocial counselling

People of Concern Personnes relevant de la compétence du HCR

Increase in
2018 769,260
2017 734,841
2016 720,812


[["Refugees",715312],["Asylum-seekers",52562],["Others of concern",1386]]
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2018 {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"budget":[307.65103446,328.87751632,318.80353781,277.212605641,274.89660651,371.82028322],"expenditure":[206.68124577,208.74308994,218.32880034,238.50705437,224.59320142,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[307.65103446,328.87751632,318.80353781,277.212605641,274.89660651,371.82028322],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]} {"categories":[2014,2015,2016,2017,2018,2019],"p1":[206.68124577,208.74308994,218.32880034,238.50705437,224.59320142,null],"p2":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p3":[null,null,null,null,null,null],"p4":[null,null,null,null,null,null]}
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  • 2014
  • 2015
  • 2016
  • 2017
  • 2018
  • 2019

Operational context

In 2018, the protection space in Jordan remained limited due to the closely managed border.  Despite the re-opening of the border with the Syrian Arab Republic (Syria) in October 2018, only a small number of spontaneous voluntary returns were recorded. Refugees in Jordan live primarily in urban areas, with only a minority, about 20%, residing in camps.

Host governments and communities continued to bear the burden of the conflict and within Jordan, a “host country fatigue” narrative continued to dominate public dialogue. The substantial increase in the population since the Syria crisis began has put public institutions under considerable pressure to deliver basic services to an increasing number of vulnerable people. Many refugees continue to face difficulties in accessing services, impacting their ability to provide food, housing, health and trauma care, and other basic needs for their families. In February 2018, changes in healthcare policy significantly raised the cost of healthcare for Syrians to 80% of the “foreigner rate”, rendering healthcare through Ministry of Health facilities, unaffordable for almost all refugees and therefore placing significant strain on UNHCR’s healthcare delivery.

UNHCR, in close cooperation with the Government of Jordan, continued to focus on implementing protection and solutions strategies contributing to a more favourable protection environment. Efforts have been made to strengthen government protection especially in the areas of child protection and legal work. The Jordan Compact and Brussels partnership papers continued to be a guiding framework for government and donor commitments, leading to improvements in refugee self-reliance, access to education, registration and documentation status.

Population trends

By the end of 2018, some 671,700 Syrian refugees had sought protection in Jordan. In addition there were close to 88,900 refugees of other nationalities, including some 67,500 from Iraq; 14,300 from Yemen; and 6,000 from Sudan.
Around 83% of all refugees live in urban areas with more than 32,000 households receiving cash grants each month.

Key achievements

  • UNHCR worked with the Government to regularize the status of refugees in urban areas – collaboration which will continue into 2019. Over 30,000 refugees approached UNHCR in 2018, with some 22,400 people having received asylum seeker certificates (ASCs) as of end 2018.
  • The humanitarian situation at the north-east border continued without a solution in 2018, and ensuring humanitarian assistance for the 40,000-45,000 Syrians trapped there remained a priority for UNHCR. One distribution of humanitarian assistance from the Jordanian side was carried out in January 2018, while a second was completed from the Syrian side in November 2018.
  • Seasonal support for winter was provided to vulnerable refugees, with more than 89,000 households in both camp and urban communities receiving cash-based assistance.

Unmet needs

Due to various reasons including operational challenges as well as resource limitations, some programmes/activities were partially or fully not implemented. For example:  
  • Medical referrals for non-Syrians covered only the most urgent cases.
  • Health and reproductive health programmes could not be expanded to cover the actual needs from the beginning of the year.
  • Planned community support projects were not implemented, missing an opportunity to enhance peaceful coexistence across communities.

Working environment

While Jordan is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, a Memorandum of Understanding establishes the parameters for cooperation between UNHCR and the Government of Jordan. Protection space for refugees continues to decrease as entry into the territory is severely restricted.
In order to respond to the needs of refugees in Jordan, an increase in humanitarian assistance will be required. The 2016-2018 Jordan Response Plan (JRP), which represents the Jordan chapter of the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (3RP), focuses on resilience and refugee programming, with UNHCR playing the leading role for refugee response.

Over 80 per cent of refugees live outside camps and many have entered a cycle of asset depletion, with savings exhausted and levels of debt increasing; the Vulnerability Assessment Framework found that over 85 per cent of Syrian refugee households live under the Jordanian poverty line.
While access to legal employment for Syrian refugees has improved with some positive initiatives by the Government in relation to work permits, more is required in order to facilitate access to employment. UNHCR will continue to support refugee livelihoods and the right to work through advocacy, coordination and limited investments. UNHCR will also continue to follow a top-down/bottom-up approach by providing capacity building to Government entities while at the same time supporting refugee communities as protection agents, in line with the shift from a “Community Services” approach to implementation of comprehensive community-based protection interventions.

A Durable Solutions Working Group was established in 2017 to discuss durable solutions with a view of adopting to comprehensive approach including voluntary return, resettlement, complementary pathways and other solutions for all refugees. While UNHCR currently does not facilitate or promote returns to Syria, the need for early preparedness is recognized should a return scenario be viable in the future.  Resettlement for 2018 will largely depend on the availability of quota for resettlement and opportunities for complementary pathways of admission.
UNHCR will also undertake activities contributing to protection and assistance of IDPs in Southern Syria under the Whole of Syria strategic approach.

The number of Iraqis, Sudanese, Somalis and Yemenis registering with UNHCR is expected to continue growing. UNHCR, in line with the views expressed by refugees in AGDM exercises, will make efforts in implementing its “One Refugee” policy for all refugee groups under its protection, seeking to align protection and assistance policies with regard to various nationalities.

Key priorities

In 2018, UNHCR will focus on:
  • Advocating on access to territory, the right to seek asylum, the principles of non-refoulement, family unity, and access to livelihood opportunities;
  • Supporting the Government to provide security and protection to persons of concern in accordance with international refugee protection principles through capacity building initiatives;
  • Providing multi-sectoral assistance to refugees in camps and cash assistance for more than 32,000 families among the most vulnerable living in urban areas. 
Latest contributions
  • 17-JUL-2019
  • 16-JUL-2019
  • 11-JUL-2019
  • 10-JUL-2019
  • 08-JUL-2019
    European Union
  • Kuwait
  • 05-JUL-2019
  • 04-JUL-2019

    private donors

  • European Union
  • Japan
  • 03-JUL-2019
  • 02-JUL-2019
  • 30-JUN-2019

    private donors

  • Argentina
  • Sweden

    private donors

  • Spain
  • Oman

    private donors

  • United Arab Emirates

    private donors

  • Kuwait

    private donors

  • Saudi Arabia

    private donors