Two-thirds of the hundreds of thousands of Syrian war refugees in Jordan are living in poverty, the head of the UN refugee agency warned Wednesday, calling for “massive” international aid.
“The conclusions… are extremely worrying for us all,” Antonio Guterres, the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR), told a news conference in Amman at which he presented a detailed report.
“Two-thirds of the Syrian refugees living with the community in Jordan are below the Jordanian-defined poverty line which is around three dollars (2.50 euros) per day for each person,” he said.
The report was based on 170,000 visits to refugee households, pointing out that 84 percent of the 620,000 UNHCR-registered refugees in Jordan from neighbouring Syria live outside camps.
“This report corresponds to the largest survey ever done in the world about living conditions of the refugee community,” he said.
The report found that one in six Syrian refugees, rising to one in five for households led by a woman alone, has to survive on Jordan’s “extreme poverty line” of $1.30 a day.
“My appeal is for massive support from the international community, massive support for the Syrians and displaced Iraqis also,” said Guterres, adding host communities and governments in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and Iraq also needed funding.
International donors had provided only around half of the UNHCR’s needs in 2014, he added.
More than three million Syrians have fled the civil war in their country which broke out in March 2011, mostly to neighbouring states.