Jordan plays a pivotal role in the Middle East because of its strategic location and its intake over the decades of refugees from Palestine, Syria and Iraq. The kingdom’s medieval and religious history makes it an attractive tourist location and it boasts one of the best health systems in the region – it earns an estimated $1 billion (£640 million) annually through medical tourism.
The biggest problem facing Jordan, a small nation with no oil and limited natural resources, is the refugee influx caused by conflicts in neighbouring lands. Nearly half of its population is composed of refugees. Among them are 2 million Palestinians who are registered as refugees and nearly 600,000 displaced from Syria. While it is classified by the World Bank as an “upper middle income country” and thee International Monetary Fund stated in 2014 that Jordan’s economy remains in good shape, it is ever increasingly dependent on foreign aid to cope with the refugee crisis. Along with the associated problems of caring for such a large displaced population, Jordan also suffers from poor availabili
The bulk of Islamic Help’s work since starting in Jordan in 2012 has been the delivery of food, water and clothing to Syrian refugees in camps and in Syria itself. Our Jordan office has also been the base for our delivery of emergency aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
During Ramadan 2013, our supporters and donors helped provide food, water, medical aid and clothes for more than 40,000 people in camps or arriving at the Syria-Jordan border. These efforts continued in 2014 and were bolstered by Muslim businesses in Panama which donated containers containing thousands of items of clothing, footwear and blankets.
These were shipped to Jordan and distributed to hundreds of refugee families. The distributions involved our Jordan office staff and a deployment of volunteers from the UK. As well as our emergency relief work, we have an orphan sponsorship programme for nearly 800 orphans in Jordan, all but a handful of them Palestinians as the Palestinian population has restricted legal and social rights. Education and healthcare projects are also being instigated for Syrian refugees.
As part of our work helping Syrian refugees in Jordan, we distributed more than £550,000 of clothing donated to us by businesses in Panama.