Excerpts: Displaced Syrians in Jordan. Plight of 'Syrian-Jordanians' 7 June
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 7 June '12:"Nearly half of Syrians in Jordan
'vulnerable' ",by Taylor Luck
SUBJECT: Displaced Syrians in Jordan.
QUOTE:"Nearly half of the 120,000 displaced Syrians in Jordan are in need of
EXCERPTS:AMMAN — Nearly half of the 120,000 displaced Syrians in Jordan are
in need of urgent assistance, relief agencies said, as the UN recorded the
highest number of refugee registrations in a single month.
According to Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation (JHCO) estimates, some
50,000 Syrians in the country are “vulnerable” — a number the UN expects to
reach 70,000 by the end of the year.
In its weekly situation report, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) revealed that
Syrians fleeing ongoing violence in their homeland are arriving in Jordan
with “less and less”, with more requiring basic assistance like basic food
rations and clothing.
The UN points to demographic trends of new arrivals as a sign of the
increasing vulnerability of the refugee population: Some 36 per cent of
refugees registered with the agency in the last month listed themselves as
female-headed households, 18 per cent were day labourers, and nearly half,
some 49 per cent, reported that they had “no occupation”.
Less than one-tenth of the new arrivals, some 9 per cent, stated that they
were “salaried professionals” prior to fleeing their homeland. . . .
Despite the rise in vulnerable Syrians, international donors have been less
than forthcoming: The UN has secured less than half of an $84 million
regional response fund launched in March, with officials already preparing a
second appeal to support Syrian refugee host countries.
+++SOURCE: Jordan Times 6 June'12:"Afteer years abroad, 'Syrian-Jordanians'
return home refugees",by Taylor Luck |
SUBJECT: Plight of 'Syrian-Jordanians'
QUOTE:"(Refugee:) 'I was born in Jordan, my parents are Jordanian, I carried
a Jordanian passport', he said"
EXCERPTS:RAMTHA — With little money and an uncertain future, there is little
to distinguish Ziyad Daoud from the thousands of Syrians who have fled to
Jordan to escape ongoing violence in their homeland.Except for one: Daoud
claims he is a Jordanian citizen.“I was born in Jordan, my parents are
Jordanian, I carried a Jordanian passport,” Daoud said.“Personally and
legally, I am a Jordanian.”. . .
The cameraman, who was arrested and tortured by Syrian President Bashar
Assad loyalists for refusing to film pro-democracy protesters, claims he is
one of dozens of Palestinian-Jordanians who after years in Syria find
themselves living as refugees in their former homeland.
...While Jordan has followed a blanket open-border policy, having provided
refuge and public services to over 120,000 Syrians crossing into Jordan, the
alleged Syrian-Jordanian’s case is nowhere near as simple.
An interior ministry policy bars Palestinian refugees from Syria from
entering the country, according to officials and the refugees, preventing
those who have arrived illegally from leaving so-called holding centres —
trapping dozens between violence in Syria and political sensitivities in
Some 480 Palestinian refugees have fled from Syria into Jordan since
Damascus’ launch of its military crackdown on pro-democracy protesters last
year, according to UNRWA, with some 150 illegal arrivals currently residing
at the Ramtha holding centre known as Cyber City.
Among them are some two dozens who either currently or previously carried
Jordanian citizenship, according to relief agencies and security sources,
many of whom carry documents ranging from birth certificates to national IDs
supporting their claims — copies of which were shown to The Jordan Times
through various interviews.
“We can’t go back to Syria and we can’t enter Jordan,” said Fadi, a former
Daraa resident who claims that his pregnant Jordanian wife is waiting for
his release at her parents’ home in Amman.
“It is as if we are living like ghosts.”
Syrian-Jordanians say they are aware of the ramifications of their
presence — which Jordanian authorities fear may spark an influx of thousands
of Palestinian refugees from Syria into Jordan — but urge officials to view
their plight as a “humanitarian” rather than political issue.
. . .According to UN officials, the “Syrian-Jordanians” have also fallen
victim to UN bureaucracy, caught between the overlapping jurisdictions of
UNRWA —the UN agency mandated to serve Palestinian refugees — and the UN
Refugee Agency, which is spearheading the international response to the
growing Syrian refugee crisis.
“It is as if this group has fallen through the cracks and now it is up to
Jordanian authorities to solve,” said a UN source, who declined to be named.
“We would like to arrive at a solution that allows them to leave but that
doesn’t threaten the political situation in Jordan; we have yet to find
one,” the source added.. . .
According to current security procedures, Syrians crossing into Jordan
illegally must remain in the holding centres pending a guarantee signed by a
Jordanian national assuming legal responsibility — a stipulation that can
extend refugees’ stays in the facilities to several weeks.
Unlike the thousands of Syrians who have few roots or connections in Jordan,
Palestinian refugees and alleged Syrian-Jordanians face little obstacle in
securing a guarantee, with friends and relatives stretching from Ramtha to
Aqaba willing and waiting to bail out their loved ones.
However, as of Tuesday, the Palestinian- and Syrian-Jordanian refugees are
denied release even on a financial guarantee, a policy interior ministry
sources attribute to “national security”. . . .
Sue Lerner - Associate, IMRA