Anera is Back in Jordan!
Jerash camp is located in a beautiful, verdant area of northern Jordan. The residents there are 1967 Palestinian refugees and they have no rights (as opposed to those who came in 1948, who have full rights). They are very limited in the professions they can practice. In other camps, there is a mix of ‘48 and ‘67 refugees. In Jerash, the 40,000 refugees are from ’67 so they do not have social security numbers. They cannot enroll in schools or qualify for health care. Anera will be working in the camp to address some of these pressing needs. Photo by Liz Demarest
With an influx of refugees from four regional wars in just 70 years and a lack of water and other resources, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and its people face many challenges. Millions of refugees from these conflicts live in Jordan. The country has more than two million Palestinian refugees registered with UNRWA. It has the second highest number of UNHCR-registered refugees in the world, at 655,000.
The refugee population places a huge burden on the country's services and resources. In order to help respond to the enormous needs, Anera returned to Jordan in 2019, after an eight-year absence. Our support in the initial stages focuses on medical aid and humanitarian relief and educational programming, which are particularly important during COVID times.
Delivering Medical Aid
Shortages of medicines and healthcare supplies are a chronic problem in Jordan's refugee camps. Anera has a venerable track record in delivering medical donations across Palestine and Lebanon, and we are well positioned to do the same in Jordan.
In 2020, Anera delivered two pilot shipments to Jordan as a test to navigate the importation and distribution processes after our absence. The shipments, valued at $18,000 and $12,000 respectively, included chronic medicines and vitamin D droplets distributed to two of Anera’s excellent in-country partners, Jordanian Medical Aid for Palestinians (JMAP) and Syrian American Medical Society, which were previously forced to reduce or halt their operations due to COVID-19.
Anera is currently sending another shipment to Jordan of vital medications for chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Despite facing significant delays due to COVID-19 restrictions at the port, Anera’s shipment will depart from the UK soon. We are working with International Medical Corps, a leading health partner, to provide these medications that target vulnerable Jordanians as well as in-camp and out-of-camp refugees.
Closing the Education Gap
Education is core to breaking the cycle of poverty in which refugee families in Jordan have been trapped.
We are currently starting a program that will address learning gaps by providing gently used laptops with educational enrichment materials loaded onto them that help students better prepare for and participate in the formal education system. The laptops address challenges imposed by the pandemic, by giving teachers the opportunity to expand their ability to teach in a remote learning environment using digital academic materials.
We are also securing funding for early childhood development (ECD) to reach young learners during the most critical cognitive and social developmental phase of life. In these efforts we will build on our strong programs and experience with preschools in Palestine.
Anera’s ECD pilot project in Jordan will go hand-in-hand with women’s economic empowerment. Women who have opportunities to send their young children to school are better able to find jobs outside of the home.
Our Jordan reentry is still in the early phases, but we have cultivated good relationships with local partners and we are identifying donors who want to help. We are well on our way to building a strong and impactful presence there.
Learn more about our Jordan work at anera.org/jordan
By The Numbers
Some facts about refugees and vulnerable communities in Jordan
10 Palestinian & 5 Syrian refugee camps
exist in Jordan, though the vast majority of refugees live in Jordanian cities.
13% of Jordanian citizens
live below the national poverty line and lack access to quality education and health care.
2 million Palestinian refugees
live in Jordan, with a large percentage living below the national poverty line.
1.4 million refugees from Syria
live in Jordan. Although Jordan has five refugee camps for Syrians, 83 percent live in poverty in Jordanian cities.
Water, Sanitation & Hygiene Projects in GAZA
Our major funding for water and sanitation (WASH) work in Gaza comes from Islamic Relief USA (IRUSA). With their support, our team has implemented 50+ WASH projects across Gaza over six years. Our work has followed a two-pronged approach:
››› Improve water infrastructure
››› Spread awareness of practical hygiene practices