Since 2011, Jordan has become home to over 600,000 registered* refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria. The strain on the country’s infrastructure and public services is now beginning to show.
The majority of refugees, an estimated 85% percent, are residing outside camps, in urban communities and tents across the country. Families are crowded into rented accommodation and temporary tented settlements. Additionally, there are nearly 85,000 refugees living in canvas tents and caravans in the Za’atari Refugee Camp, now the second biggest refugee camp in the world after Dadaab in Kenya.
*Registered with the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) and UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)
Zaatari is the second biggest refugee camp in the world after Dadaab in Kenya. Situated in Jordan, it is home to nearly 85,000 of the 3.8 million refugees who have fled the war in Syria. In Zaatari, refugees live in canvas tents or caravans.
Nefel gave birth to her baby girl in the Zaatari refugee camp. She recently moved into an insulated caravan that protects her, and her newborn, from the Jordanian desert’s cold winds.
Imaha heads to the water point daily to fill her plastic drum. In Zaatari camp, Oxfam and ECHO’s humanitarian funding contributes to providing water facilities to refugee families.
One of the most frustrating things for people living in the refugee camp is the lack of opportunities to work. The most vulnerable refugees are being supported by ECHO and Oxfam through cash assistance programmes. For instance, a few number of refugees receive cash for helping Oxfam to implement humanitarian projects inside the camp.
Za’tari refugee camp now resembles a city – now ranking as Jordan’s fourth largest. Zaatari today requires a waste management plan to maintain proper sanitary conditions in the different districts. Oxfam runs a cash for work programme where residents in the camp can help collect waste in exchange for a basic salary.
Hamda (left) was caught in crossfire in her hometown of Dera’a. She is now paralyzed and confined to bed. Oxfam and ECHO support Zaatari’s population to ensure they have access to adequate water and sanitation services, as well as works with volunteers to promote good public health practices in the camp.
Malak gave birth to little Diaa in a field hospital in the Zaatari refugee camp. The maternity ward in the hospital handles 8 to 10 births per day, according to figures from NGOs working there.