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Jordan appeals to UK on needs of over quarter of a million refugees

29 June 2021

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan has appealed directly to the UK about the imminent life-saving needs of over a quarter of a million refugees, mainly from neighbouring Syria, that will not be met by United Nations agencies from September.

The appeal is in a letter to the Chair of the House of Commons International Development Committee, Sarah Champion MP, from the Jordanian Ambassador to London, H E Omar Al-Nahar. The Ambassador’s letter is published here

Ms Champion has relayed the appeal to the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, Dominic Raab MP, and raised a number of further questions about the issue with him. Her letter is published here

The Ambassador explains in his letter that because of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on donor country economies, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) is short of funds and may have to cut assistance for 261,000 refugees in Jordan by September 2021 if additional money is not forthcoming.

In addition to this cut in WFP programmes, the Ambassador said the UN’s children’s fund, UNICEF, was also short of funds and would have to cease water and sanitation services for refugees in Jordan, also by September this year. This would impact on basic lifesaving needs, Ambassador Al-Nahar said, undermining both public health and security in refugee camps.

The Jordanian envoy said there was an urgent need for further donations and requested that the UK government review its financial support to these UN agencies to avoid the worst outcomes.

Sarah Champion MP, in relaying the Jordanian appeal to Mr Raab, asked the Secretary of State:

  • how much the UK has contributed to refugees in Jordan over the past five years – with details on the type of aid and agencies delivering it;
  • how the recent cut in UK foreign aid from 0.7% of UK national earnings to 0.5% had impacted the refugee communities in Jordan (in percentage and actual terms); and
  • whether all the pledges of aid to refugees in Jordan had been delivered – both by the UK and other donors.

Finally, Ms Champion asked Mr Raab what steps he was planning to address the funding shortfall explained by the Ambassador and what discussions he had with Jordanian officials about this issue.

Further information

Image: PA