The conflict in Syria is entering its tenth year, and it is a protracted crisis.
It has left around 6 million people displaced within the country, and another 5.5 seeking refuge, primarily in neighboring countries and northern Africa. The number of returns to Syria is very low as the conditions for safe dignified, voluntary, and sustainable returns are currently not in place. As of March 2020, Jordan is officially hosting 671,579 registered Syrian refugees, although the total number of Syrian refugees in the country is estimated to be more than the double. Over three quarters are living in Jordanian host communities, primarily in the three governorates in the north of the country: Irbid, Zarqa, and Mafraq. In some areas, refugees outnumber Jordanians, creating tension over dwindling public and natural resources.
A quarter of all refugees live in the three camps of Za’atari (as of January 2020, 76,143 refugees.), Azraq (as of January 2020 36,298, and Emirati Jordanian. Two out of three refugee households live below the Jordanian poverty line. The most vulnerable tend to be female-headed households and children, as well as households that include people with disabilities. Unable to earn money or with reduced mobility, women, children, and the disabled are at a particular risk of sexual harassment and exploitation. The war has created severe implications for future generations of Syrians.
Following an invitation by the local Lutheran Church, LWF has been active in Jordan since 2012. Over this period of operation, LWF Jordan has built up a track record in three programmatic areas: Livelihoods, Quality Services (Education) and Protection & Social Cohesion, targeting Syrian and Iraqi refugees and vulnerable Jordanians. LWF is present in local communities and in the Zaatari camp. Over this period, LWF has provided assistance to more than 250,000 refugees and vulnerable individuals. In 2019 alone, the LWF Jordan country program supported more than 45,000 individuals through protection and social cohesion, livelihoods, and quality services, primarily in education.