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Jordan Struggles with Influx of Syrian Refugees
   2016-05-06 00:33:33    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Wang Kun

Syrian refugee Wisam Al-Eid poses for photos inside his vegetable and fruit shop in the Za'atari Refugee Camp in northern Jordan on Monday, March 21, 2016. He has hung a photo of Jordanian King Abdullah II in the shop to show his gratitude to Jordan for hosting Syrian refugees. [Photo: CRIENGLISH.com / Zhang Jin]

As Syrian refugees swarm into other countries, their presence has brought social and economic problems to the hosting countries.

Syria's neighbor Jordan is one of the cases.

CRI's Victor Ning has more.

 

In the Za'atari Refugee Camp in northern Jordan, 28-year-old Syrian refugee Wisam Al-Eid has hung a photo of Jordanian King Abdullah II to show his gratitude to Jordan for hosting Syrian refugees.

"Thanks God. It's a safe country. Thank God I'm here. There's no war. There's stability here."

Neighboring war-torn Syria, Jordan is among the countries that host the most number of Syrian refugees. Currently there are about 1.5 million Syrian refugees and migrants in Jordan, which is equivalent to around 15 percent of the Jordanian population.

Adnan Sawaeer is a member of the Jordanian Parliament.

"For sure, having such a big addition to the population is really a big issue to the stability and security of Jordan, not only because we want to provide them with places to live in, but also we have to support their education and health."

Another Parliament member Haitham Al-Abadi says although the international community has shown its support to Jordan with regards to the refugees, their aid has only gone to the refugee camps.

"Those in the refugee camps only represent 9% of the total number of refugees. The majority are distributed in different cities. What is more important is getting the relief funding to the Jordanian government, because we want to help the refugees in the whole country, not only in the refugee camps, and that costs us millions of dollars annually."

Local authorities say around 20 percent of the Jordanian national budget goes to support the refugees. They say the refugees' presence has negatively affected some areas, such as unemployment and education.

Some in Jordan have called for more support from the international community.

Gavin David White is the external relations officer of the Za'atari Refugee Camp. He suggests more investment for both Syrians and Jordanians.

"It goes beyond the right to work. It also includes very serious investment within the Jordanian economy, so that they could support Syrians as well as Jordanians. So anything that's done needs to be an added benefit for Jordan, especially considering the amount of time that's been supporting Syrians."

The UN's refugee agency set a budget of around 63 million dollars in 2010 for its operations in Jordan, that number was raised to more than 400 million in 2015.

For CRI, I'm Victor Ning.


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