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'Only 21% of funding required under 2019 JRP received'

EU announces new 297m euro assistance package to Jordan, Lebanon

By Raed Omari - Dec 07,2019 - Last updated at Dec 07,2019

Young Syrian refugees pose for a photo at the Zaatari Refugee Camp in Mafraq Governorate (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Funding for the 2019 Jordan Response Plan (JRP), aimed at alleviating the Kingdom's burdens ensuing from the Syrian crisis, has so far reached "only" 21 per cent of the aid required under the scheme, Jordan's Ambassador in Brussels Yousef Bataineh has said. 

Attending a meeting of the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the MADAD Fund, Bataineh urged the international community to shoulder its responsibility and share burdens of hosting refugees with Jordan, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

The ambassador called on the EU to continue its assistance to Jordan, especially, saying: "The Syrian crisis has not been resolved yet and the number of the Syrian refugees in Jordan is still high."

The EU on Thursday announced adopting a new 297 million-euro-assistance package to support refugees and host communities in Jordan and Lebanon via MADAD.

Latest UNHCR figures stated that 32,000 refugees have voluntarily returned to Syria from Jordan since the border reopened in October 2018.

Jordan is host to 1.3 million refugees, with UNHCR figures from 2017 showing that the Kingdom hosts the second largest number of refugees per capita in the world, with one in 11 people forcibly exiled.

The EU said it has decided to extend the mandate of the Trust Fund which will allow its projects to run until the end of 2023.

The assistance package consists of 59 million euros to strengthen the self-reliance of refugees and host communities in Jordan, work towards an inclusive national social protection system and the creation of decent job opportunities for Syrians.

The aid also comprises 39 million euros for the establishment of an integrated solid waste management system in Syrian refugee camps and neighbouring communities to improve health, environmental conditions and create job opportunities.

The bundle also consists of 36 million euros to support the needs of Palestine refugees from Syria in Jordan and Lebanon.

The Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation said in early November that the JRP is only 20.98 per cent funded for 2019 with a deficit of around $1.89 billion.

Under the plan, which helps manage the economic pressure resulting from sheltering Syrian refugees, around $2.4 billion was requested and only around $503 million has been funded, which leaves Jordan to cover any deficit resulting from this gap.

Senate President Faisal Fayez has recently said that the cost of hosting Syrian refugees up until the end of 2017 totalled $10.3 billion, adding that this contributed to exacerbating the Kingdom’s economic challenges and increasing the rates of debt, poverty and unemployment.

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