Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan

Refugee situation Open arms policy

Despite its difficult geographical position in a crisis-torn region, Jordan has pursued an open arms policy.

Around 1.8 million Palestinians have found refuge in Jordan since 1947/48. They were followed by refugees from Iraq, estimated to number between 200,000 and 300,000. After the outbreak of armed conflict in Syria in 2011, a new influx of refugees began. By October 2018, some 670,000 Syrian refugees were officially registered in Jordan, according to United Nations figures.

The vast majority of these refugees are living in Jordanian towns or communities. Some 126,000 refugees, however, are living in three camps, the largest being Zaatari on the Jordanian-Syrian border.

The influx of refugees is threatening to destabilise the country. The existing infrastructure is not sufficiently well developed as to be able to provide a reliable supply of water or power. The education and health systems are also under great strain.

Jordan is dependent on international support to prevent an overstretching of its political, social and economic fabric. It has requested assistance of 7.7 billion US dollars for the period from 2017 to 2019.