Workshop on the Syrian Refugee Crisis

Tuesday, 20 December, 2016

HPC Secretary General, Engineer Maisoon Al Zoubi, stressed the significant impact of the Syrian refugee crisis on the population pyramid in Jordan, resulting in an unexpected population growth and consequently putting unforeseen pressure on available resources and services.

During the training workshop entitled “Impact of the Syrian Refugee Crisis on Population and Development” organized by HPC in Tuesday in collaboration with the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate and with support from UNFPA, Al Zoubi noted that over the past years Jordan received waves of forced and voluntary migrants, including successive waves of Syrian refugees since March 2011, reaching around 1.3 million Syrians in 2015, the majority of which are women and children, with 83% of them live outside camps in different governorates of Jordan.

Al Zoubi explained that while Syrian refugees compete with Jordanians for the scarce resources, jobs, healthcare, shelter and education, their presence can be capitalized on through increased public investment.

The Syrian Refugee Affairs Director, General Jehad Matar, said that Jordan has provided everything it could since the start of crisis, with both the government and citizens making significant efforts to support the relief of Syrian refugees and alleviate difficulties and obstacles to the extent available resources allow.

General Matar further added that refugee camps across the Kingdom serve as a good example of service delivery and provision of basic needs, considering the tremendous efforts and financial resources spent by ministries and security institutions. Matar further underpinned the role of the Jordanian Armed forces in maintaining security at the borders, protecting safety and stability and combatting terrorism along with its humanitarian role of supporting the relief of refugees.

UNFPA Director in Jordan, Daniel Baker, talked about the challenges faced by host communities in providing basic services such as health and education, noting the pressure on the health sector and the ministry of health to deliver high quality services, and the efforts made by UNFPA to help address challenges faced by refugees and host communities.

97 percent of births inside the camps take place under medical supervision, and maternal mortality rates are zero.

Staff of the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate participated in the two-day training, and discussed with experts a number of issues related to the Syrian presence.

At the workshop, participants discussed the demographic window of opportunity and related policies, the impact of Syrian refugee crisis on realizing and investing in the window of opportunity, the challenges, sectoral impacts, as well as opportunities that can arise from the Syrian presence.

The workshop touched upon the humanization of work in refugee camps, the governing legal framework, security measures in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis, the Jordanian response plan, and the role and duties of the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate.

Moreover, the workshop included a presentation of the study on "Reproductive Health Services Provided to Syrians Residing Outside Camps in Jordan", which was prepared by the Higher Population Council in 2016.