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Syrians constitute one-fifth of Amman population — official figures

By JT - Dec 29,2014 - Last updated at Dec 29,2014

AMMAN – Syrians constitute nearly 20 per cent of Amman's population, according to officials. 

On Monday, Interior Minister Hussein Majali told a group of MPs that there are over 791,000 Syrians residing in the capital, whose overall population has recently been estimated at four million. 

In April this year, Amman Mayor Aqel Biltaji said that the population of the capital had risen to around four million due to various factors that include domestic migration and the influx of refugees from neighbouring countries.

At a meeting with the Lower House Integrity Committee Monday, Majali said that around 1.4 million Syrians currently live in the Kingdom, explaining that 639,000 of them are registered as refugees, while over 750,000 had been living in Jordan before March 15, 2011 when the Syrian crisis started, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported. 

According to the minister, Mafraq comes second in terms of hosting the largest number of Syrians as it is home to over 159,000, followed by the northern governorate of Irbid, which hosts more than 144,000 Syrians, Petra said.

Official figures estimate that around nine million people live in the Kingdom, including 6.5 million Jordanians. 

Majali partly blamed the rise in the number of crimes registered in the past three years on the increasing inflow of refugees, adding that refugees from 43 countries reside currently in the Kingdom. 

The official indicated that as of January 15, 2015, the government will start using the iris recognition system and magnified identity cards for all Syrians in the country, a move he said seeks to keep track of refugees and streamline the services offered to them by state agencies such as education and health.

For this purpose, he said the ministry has distributed over 138 devices to security stations across the Kingdom to issue the magnetic card, adding that the ministry has also contacted other government agencies not to provide any services to Syrian refugees, such as education and health, unless they have the new identity cards, according to Petra.   

Anyone who violates or tries to breach Jordanian law will be deported back to his or her country, Majali warned. 

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