Jordan Situation Report | June 2024

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Economic Restrictions

Jordan’s living costs are soaring at the same time that unemployment is becoming rampant. Many jobs no longer pay the minimum wage to meet basic living requirements, and many Jordanians have had to borrow money to make ends meet

High unemployment is a significant issue, averaging 21% in the last quarter of 2023. This issue impacts women and youth disproportionately, as they respectively face higher unemployment rates of 30% and 42%. For the tens of thousands of Syrian refugees in the Azraq Refugee Camp in Jordan, the limited employment options restrict their economic opportunities and exacerbate their challenges obtaining vital resources. 

An infographic that says, "Living costs and unemployment are soaring. Many Jordanians have had to borrow money to meet their basic needs."

Refugees in Jordan, particularly Syrian refugees, are dependent upon humanitarian aid and face additional difficulty due to funding cuts to UNRWA. Families are relying even more on cash assistance from organizations like UNICEF to meet basic needs, and the number of children receiving assistance has fallen from 10,000 to 5,500. Without the resources to prioritize education, such financial restraints threaten children’s ability to break the cycle of poverty.

Protests have been ongoing in Jordan, especially in Amman, Karak and Irbid, since October 2023. Besides their anger over the situation in Gaza, protestors are also anxious about the impact Palestinian displacement could have upon Jordan. If war in Palestine were to usher in another wave of refugees, as in 1948 and 1967, the UNRWA funding cuts and limited economic opportunities in Jordan would mean there would be limited resources to support them.

Disabilities and Mental Health in Jordan

Disability rates in Jordan are increasing with age, as 49% of the population aged 65 and above report a disability. Older women are disproportionately affected among Syrian refugees, with 28% reporting disabilities compared to 16% of older men. Non-communicable diseases are the primary contributor to disabilities among older individuals, and affect women more than men. 

Meanwhile, a recent survey of mental health of children and adolescents revealed that 91% of participants exhibited symptoms of depression and anxiety, 60% showed signs of PTSD, 52% experienced a poor overall quality of life, and 34% had emotional and behavioral problems.

An infographic that says 28% of older Syrian refugee women have disabilities due to non-communicable diseases (NCDs). And, 16% of older Syrian refugee men have disabilities due to NCDs.

Water Access

Jordan remains one of the world’s most water-stressed countries and grapples with severe water scarcity. Each person only has about 90 cubic meters available to them annually to use, which is far beneath the international scarcity threshold. 

An infographic that says, "Each person has only 90 cubic meters of water available to them annually, which is far beneath the international scarcity threshold."

Jordan’s water usage surpasses the renewable water resources available, while climate change risks further diminishment of available water reserves. In response, the government has reduced the water available to households consuming over six cubic meters monthly. 

Due to the shortage of government-supplied water, people are forced to seek other alternatives and contribute to an unregulated and inefficient water market dominated by well owners and truckers. This market experiences price fluctuations and inconsistent deliveries that are no stand-in for government-supported infrastructure.

Anera’s Response

To address the water shortage, Anera will support WASH awareness for public health and enhance household water infrastructure and storage systems in Jerash and Souf refugee camps. In addition, Anera continues to expand its rooftop garden initiative to make eco-friendly gardens available to all. 

To address non-communicable diseases (NCD), Anera procured and delivered six essential NCD medications to the Syrian American Medical Society, which will serve 580 patients for an entire year. By creating access to sustainable healthcare, this project significantly enhances the patients’ quality of life. Anera is also working to expand the capacity of mental health services available to people through psychological services and needed medications.

An infographic detailing Anera's response, which focus on WASH and Health by enhancing household water infrastructures, expanding rooftop garden initiatives, and treating 580 patients for non-communicable diseases for a year.

For more information, including sources cited, read our full situation report.

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