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Jordan requests $4.5 billion from donors as refugee burden grows

By Omar Obeidat - Sep 01,2014 - Last updated at Sep 01,2014

AMMAN – Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Ibrahim Saif on Monday called on donor countries and the international community to provide $4.5 billion in assistance to the Kingdom in order to bolster its efforts to host the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees currently residing within its borders. 

The official noted that while Jordan remains committed to keeping its borders open to Syrian refugees, the direct cost of extending public services in host communities continues to grow and is quickly exceeding the current level of international assistance. 

With the Syrian conflict entering its fourth year, Jordan now hosts more than 1.6 million Syrian nationals, nearly 600,000 of whom are registered refugees.  Around 85 per cent of these refugees reside in urban areas, outside of designated camps, the minister said. 

Saif made these remarks at the fifth meeting of the Jordan Response Platform for the Syria Crisis (JRPSC) — formerly known as the Host Community Support Platform— during which he reiterated the Cabinet’s support for all projects included in the National Resilience Plan (NRP) developed by various ministries, UN agencies, donors and development partners, which was endorsed by the government on August 10.

In September 2013, the government developed the 2014-2016 NRP through the Host Community Support Platform to address the impact of the crisis on Jordanian host communities. 

Saif noted that the three-year NRP plan targets host community investments and developments to enhance Jordan’s strained social services and infrastructure and aims to alleviate the spillover effects of the crisis on education, energy, health, housing, livelihoods and employment, municipal services, social protection, and water and sanitation. 

He highlighted additional projects in the environment, justice and transport sectors currently under development and are due to be included in the final version of the plan. 

The meeting was attended by representatives of UN organisations in Jordan, ambassadors of donor countries and heads of international and development agencies. 

Saif said that the Cabinet’s endorsement of the projects included in the NRP will enable the government to prioritise development projects through which donors can allocate their funds.  

Also on Monday, the minister announced the launch of the Jordan Response Plan for 2015, an integrated humanitarian and resilience plan that will see the ongoing development and humanitarian response initiatives brought together in one national planning document.

According to the JRPSC website a strategic partnership between the government, donors and UN agencies, the consolidation of ongoing refugee and host community programmes will enable a comprehensive response to humanitarian needs and support national systems. It will also help maximise the sharing of resources, management, information and programme implementation tools.

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