With the Syrian conflict showing no signs of abating, the refugee crisis drags on. About 400 Syrians cross into Jordan on most days, with the figure reaching the low thousands whenever fighting intensifies. The number of Syrian refugees in Jordan now stands at almost 600,000.
Syrian refugees who arrived at one of the transit facilities along the north-eastern border. CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / D.Revol
Bustana collection point. The ICRC distributes blankets and hygiene items to Syrian refugees. / CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / D. Revol
Almost 80 per cent of the Syrian refugees in Jordan live outside camps, within host communities, which puts pressure on local educational and health facilities, on the electricity and water networks and on other infrastructure.
Together with the Jordan National Red Crescent Society, the ICRC has been providing cash assistance for Syrian households in northern Jordan to help them meet their basic needs.
"For most refugees residing in host communities, the major challenge is to pay for basic living costs, including rent, food and medication," said Catherine Gendre, head of the ICRC delegation in Jordan. "Refugees who have been displaced for years have long since exhausted their savings and other assets."
The majority of Syrian refugees cross into Jordan through the north-eastern border. They arrive, with few if any belongings, in a hostile desert far from any urban services. Once they are in Jordan, they are initially accommodated at ICRC-sponsored temporary transit facilities where their basic needs are attended to.
Border Guards Forces then assist the newly arriving Syrians at six facilities along the border where shelter, water, generators and basic medical items are provided by the ICRC.
From January to April, the ICRC:
Bustana collection point. Syrian refugees eating hot meals that are distributed daily by the ICRC in partnership with a local association. / CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Z. Arabyat
provided about 157,000 three daily meals to 37,000 Syrian refugees who stayed from two to three days in three transit facilities, complemented with the distribution of 325,000 biscuits. In addition, 25,700 bottles of water and 74,000 packs of juice were provided in two facilities;
provided as many as 4,200 Syrian refugees crossing the border into north-eastern Jordan with 2,200 blankets and 2,000 hygiene items;
provided 2,000 Syrian refugees living in host communities in the northern governorate of Mafraq with cash assistance, as part of a programme implemented with the Jordan Red Crescent;
set up 15 pre-fabricated shelters, seven pre-fabricated sanitary facilities with 12 toilets in each, 17 tents with an area of 45 square metres each, five solar water heaters, four water pumps, five large steel septic tanks, 850 metres of new water line, 10 large metal containers and 30 PVC trolley containers for solid waste for Syrian refugees at six transit facilities along Jordan's north-eastern border and in Raba’a Al Sarhan Registration Facility in Mafraq governorate;
First aid training conducted by the ICRC for Jordan Red Crescent Society staff and volunteers. / CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / A. Sari
helped around 11,650 Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp maintain contact with other family members inside Syria and elsewhere by making international telephone calls available to them. The ICRC also helped reunite a 14-year-old Syrian child with her family in Egypt;
provided Mafraq and Rweyshid Government Hospitals with basic medical supplies to enable them to meet the increasing primary health needs of Syrian refugees entering Jordan;
provided the Jordanian Royal Medical Services with wound-dressing materials, other basic medical supplies and medical equipment for use in the treatment of Syrian refugees entering Jordan;
held four basic first-aid training sessions for 123 Jordan Red Crescent staff and volunteers, in addition to one first-aid training session for 29 Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp;
organized a seminar on war surgery at King Abdullah University Hospital, in the northern city of Irbid, for approximately 55 doctors from Jordan and Syria involved in the treatment of casualties from the ongoing conflict in Syria.