As COVID cases surpass 120,000 in Jordan, refugees struggle to feed their families

  • IRC receives report variety of requests for monetary help
  • Over 60% of calls obtained since March have been requests for monetary help
  • Most calls have come from ladies who had been their household’s fundamental breadwinner till they misplaced their jobs
  • Some families have resorted to looking out by way of garbage bins for meals to feed their youngsters

In tandem with Jordan’s surging COVID cases – which have now surpassed 120,000 – the International Rescue Committee (IRC) is deeply involved concerning the monetary influence the pandemic is having on refugees and susceptible Jordanians, who’re struggling to feed their families and pay for different primary requirements. 

The IRC has obtained a report variety of requests for help for the reason that begin of the pandemic: in the previous seven months alone, the organisation had already obtained triple the variety of calls to its hotline than it did all through the entire of 2019. 

Since March, over 60% of the calls the organisation has obtained have been requests particularly for monetary help – a tenfold improve in the variety of calls in contrast to the identical time interval final yr. Of these, nearly half have been requests to cowl primary wants. 

“I’m a mom of three youngsters. My husband has a extreme conflict harm in his legs so he can’t stroll or transfer. I used to promote my home-cooked meals, and that helped me pay the lease, payments and meals bills, however that each one stopped and I’m not in a position to make any money to even feed my household. It wasn’t doable to pay the lease and because of that the proprietor compelled us to depart and we’re at present staying in a small room at a relative’s home. It is insufferable.” – Syrian refugee, 22 years outdated, Irbid

With the pandemic persevering with to worsen, the organisation is looking for extra help to assist not simply those that contract the virus, but in addition those that have misplaced their supply of earnings and are struggling to survive. There is an pressing want for added funding to guarantee continued money help in order that probably the most susceptible can meet their primary wants in the course of the pandemic, however now greater than ever there’s additionally a necessity for the restrictive legal guidelines and insurance policies that inhibit the flexibility of refugees to enter the formal labour market to be reformed and for extra help to be given to entrepreneurs to get their enterprise concepts off the bottom. This won’t solely allow people who’ve been worst-hit financially by the pandemic to get again on their ft, however will contribute to Jordan’s long-term financial restoration as effectively. 

Sarra Ghazi, the IRC’s Country Director in Jordan, stated:

“Although the federal government took swift motion to forestall the unfold of the virus and to strengthen Jordan’s well being system firstly of the pandemic, this sadly took its toll on probably the most susceptible. Businesses had been compelled to shut and other people misplaced their jobs. Without a supply of earnings, assembly their primary wants grew to become a every day struggle. By July this yr we had already obtained extra calls to our hotline than we did for the entire of 2019, and every week we hear of individuals in ever-more determined circumstances. 

“One lady instructed us that her husband had resorted to looking for meals in the garbage bins to make it doable for them to feed their youngsters, whereas many others have instructed us that they’ve had to ship their youngsters out to work – figuring out that they need to be in faculty, and wishing they might ship them there as an alternative. These are determined instances for many individuals in Jordan. Even although the Government supplied help by way of the National Aid Fund for many who misplaced their jobs, the monetary influence the pandemic has had on individuals has been so deep that this has not been sufficient. People can’t afford meals, they will’t afford to pay their lease, and lots of are afraid of eviction. 

“We have been in a position to help probably the most susceptible with emergency money help and are offering start-up grants to allow these with home-based enterprise concepts to get them off the bottom, however the wants are huge. Although the lockdown measures eased in direction of the tip of June, the variety of calls we’re receiving for financial help continues to rise – though we are actually 4 months down the road. In the previous two weeks alone, 74% of the calls we’ve obtained have been requests for monetary help – nearly all of them to cowl primary wants. Emergency money help is significant, and we’ll proceed to present it to help these most in want, however it isn’t a long-term answer. The restrictions positioned on refugees that restrict the kind of work they will do should be lifted in order that they’ve the prospect to earn an honest dwelling. But greater than that, we want continued funding from the worldwide group in initiatives that can make it doable for refugees and Jordanians to construct and develop their personal companies. This will assist individuals not solely by way of the present disaster, however far into the long run as effectively, as refugees will change into self-reliant and their exhausting work will contribute in direction of boosting Jordan’s recovering financial system.”

The IRC is looking for private and non-private establishments in Jordan – in addition to the group as an entire – to proceed in their help for refugees in the nation, and to guarantee their continued entry to schooling (together with online), healthcare, authorized companies, lodging, and job alternatives. Support to susceptible Jordanians in assembly their every day wants and accessing employment alternatives is equally essential throughout this disaster. The IRC additional calls on donors to present further, well timed and versatile funding for NGOs in Jordan to handle the rapid primary wants arising with COVID-19 and to shield the livelihoods of each susceptible Jordanians and refugees throughout the Kingdom. 


Notes to editors

The circumstances of those that have reached out to the IRC asking for help range and, though nearly all of calls have been from Syrian refugees, there are a lot of refugees of different nationalities and Jordanians who’re struggling as effectively. 

Most requests for help come from ladies, however over the previous seven months the variety of calls from males has begun to improve. The quotes beneath convey to life the difficulties many individuals are dealing with. Most are from moms who had been working as housekeepers to help their families – in reality, they had been the household’s fundamental breadwinner. However, due to the lockdown, journey restrictions, curfews and other people’s fears associated to COVID-19, they’ve misplaced their solely supply of earnings.

“I’m a mom of three youngsters. My husband’s work shouldn’t be steady, I stay in a rented home and our dwelling situations are extraordinarily tough. Now we concern demise from hunger. We are unable to present meals for our youngsters and my husband has reached a degree the place he’s feeding us from meals thrown in rubbish bins.” – Syrian refugee, 22 years outdated, Irbid

“I’m chargeable for 4 youngsters, as my husband is unable to help us. I needs to be the household’s breadwinner, however now my 15 yr outdated son is chargeable for the family earnings. I’m compelled to do this as he’s the eldest and I can’t depart my different youngsters alone at dwelling. At the second we don’t have any earnings and we’re beneath stress – we could lose the place the place we’re staying. There are many days I’m not in a position to feed my youngsters.” – Syrian refugee, 41 years outdated, Irbid

“I used to help my household by working as a every day waged housemaid, though I used to be pregnant and have a two yr outdated baby. But now, sadly – with the present accessibility limitations and the individuals’s concern of the coronavirus – I’m not in a position to do this sort of work. Now I’ve no earnings and I’m chargeable for feeding my baby and caring for my paralysed husband. I’m in actual want of economic help.” – Syrian refugee, 19 years outdated, Amman

“I misplaced my husband in Syria and got here to Jordan with my 5 youngsters. The oldest is 16 years outdated. I’m dwelling alone right here and I can’t depart my youngsters to exit to work, so I’ve been compelled to ship my 13 and 16 years outdated daughters and my son out to work in order that we are able to not less than afford our meals bills. The circumstances are tough and with the present further limitations of life, we reached a degree the place we are able to’t make money for meals.” – Syrian refugee, 39 years outdated, Amman

“I’m chargeable for six youngsters, and I’m the household’s breadwinner. I stay in a rented home which is uncomfortable and empty. I used to work as a cleaner at a hospital however I bought launched from my job and now I’ve no earnings and my money owed are piling up. I’m in actual want of economic help or any alternative that would assist me generate a small earnings to feed my youngsters, pay my payments and lease.” – Jordanian, 43 years outdated, Ramtha metropolis

“I’ve 11 youngsters. My husband is unable to help us, so I’m chargeable for all of them, however I can’t depart them and go to work. I even have nobody that may help me so now, we don’t have any earnings and we’ve got the added stress of probably shedding the place the place we’re staying. There are many days I’m not in a position to feed the kids.” – Syrian refugee, 32 years outdated, Amman

“I’ve seven youngsters. My husband left us, so my 12 yr outdated son – who suffers from coronary heart points – grew to become chargeable for the family earnings. It actually hurts me making him work on the vegetable market together with his well being situation, however I’m compelled to do this as he’s the eldest and I can’t depart my different youngsters alone at dwelling.” – Syrian refugee, 30 years outdated, Mafraq

“I used to work as a housekeeper at a couple of completely different homes and that was the one supply of earnings for my household. I’ve 4 youngsters and my husband has numerous tough well being situations. Now due to the restrictions because of Corona, individuals stopped asking me to clear their properties and I misplaced my supply of earnings. Now there are days I’m not even in a position to present my household with meals, not to mention pay the lease, the electrical energy and the water payments. It is changing into insufferable seeing my youngsters going hungry and the thought of us shedding the place we’re staying in to stay on streets – God forbid. ” – Syrian refugee, 26 years outdated, Irbid

“I’m a mom of three youngsters with particular wants. They all have bodily disabilities. My husband left me three years in the past and he bought married to one other lady, leaving me and the kids on our personal. I don’t have a supply of earnings. I used to present meals for my youngsters from the leftovers my neighbours would give me, and the room I’m staying in – fortunately the proprietor has been affected person with me. I owe him round seven months lease, But now – since everyone seems to be affected by the monetary disaster, persons are dealing with difficulties in supporting one another and even being versatile in getting their money on time – I’m afraid I would lose our dwelling.” – Syrian refugee, 34 years outdated, Mafraq  

“I used to work as a labourer at a vegetable market in Mafraq, however I bought launched from my job when the Corona disaster began in Jordan. It was my solely supply of earnings. I used it to pay a part of my lease and to present my eight youngsters with meals. I’m making an attempt to discover some other job simply to feed my household however there aren’t any alternatives. What I actually concern is that I lose my home the place I make positive my youngsters are protected and I’m actually afraid that I gained’t have the opportunity to feed them anymore.” – Syrian refugee, 48 years outdated, Mafraq

About the IRC in Jordan

The IRC started working in Jordan in 2007, supporting refugees from Iraq in addition to susceptible and crisis-affected Jordanians. With the arrival of refugees from Syria in 2012, the organisation expanded its work, which now contains major well being care, cell outreach, and empowerment packages for these in want. The IRC is at present implementing packages for Syrian refugees and susceptible Jordanians in Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps, in addition to in the cities of Mafraq, Ramtha, Irbid, Amman and Zarqa. The focus of its work is on ladies’s safety and empowerment, major and reproductive well being care, in addition to financial effectively being.

Since the beginning of the pandemic the IRC has tailored its programming to guarantee these most in want are nonetheless in a position to obtain help. All well being clinics in Azraq and Zaatari refugee camps proceed to function, whereas in Mafraq and Ramtha we’re offering distant well being companies. Our help to ladies and women, our baby safety companies, our early childhood growth actions and livelihoods help all continues to function remotely by way of WhatsApp and over the telephone. In-person case administration help is supplied in emergency conditions


About the IRC

The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, serving to to restore well being, security, schooling, financial wellbeing, and energy to individuals devastated by battle and catastrophe. Founded in 1933 on the name of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 international locations and over 20 U.S. cities serving to individuals to survive, reclaim management of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn extra at and observe the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.

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