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Palestinian Refugees in Jordan

(Updated January 2013)

Nearly 2 million registered Palestinian refugees live in Jordan. All Palestine refugees in Jordan have full Jordanian citizenship with the exception of almost 140,000 refugees originally from the Gaza Strip, which up to 1967 was administered by Egypt. They are eligible for temporary Jordanian passports, which do not entitle them to full citizenship rights such as the right to vote and employment with the government.

There are ten official and three unofficial camps, with other refugees living near the camps. They all live under similar socio-economic conditions.

UNRWA Headquarters Amman and the UNRWA Jordan Field Office are both located in Amman.

Jordan UNRWA Camps

Number of Refugees
Amman New Camp
Jabal el-Hussein

Facts and figures

  • 2,034,641 registered refugees
  • Ten camps
  • 172 schools, with 117,274 pupils
  • Two vocational and technical training centres
  • 24 primary health centres
  • Eight community rehabilitation centres
  • 12 women’s programme centres


All programmes in Jordan are affected by lack of funding, which limits the number of people UNRWA can support and the number of staff it can employ.


In Jordan, UNRWA runs 172 schools providing basic education from first to tenth grade, for more than 122,000 students. The Agency also trains more than 600 teachers each year at university level. The Amman Training Centre and Wadi Seer Training Centre provide vocational training to more than 1,300 students.

UNRWA students’ results are well above the average, at both school and college level. Most students at the training centre and educational science faculty are female. 

Since 2000, the Agency has supported UNRWA schools in taking more responsibility for their own development and building stronger links with their local communities.


The Agency runs 24 primary health care centres, serving a population of more than 1.9 million. The centres deal with over 2.3 million visits each year. Comprehensive services include:

  • dental care
  • medical care
  • physiotherapy
  • environmental health
  • pre-, ante- and post-natal care
  • disease prevention and control
  • health protection and promotion
  • reimbursement for hospitalisation and/or advanced diagnostic services.

The programme faces difficulties addressing unmet needs including:

  • child disabilities
  • early detection of cancers
  • mental and psychological health.

Relief and social services

The relief and social services programme promotes community-based action and delivers relief to families facing particular hardship or small-scale emergencies. The programme supports a network of 24 women programme centres and community-based rehabilitation centres, which are managed by local committees. 

The department is also computerising the records of registered refugees to integrate data across all Agency programmes.


UNRWA runs a micro-credit programme which gives loans to Palestinian microentrepreneurs and small businesses, along with consumer and housing loans to low-income households.

The department runs five branches in Amman, Irbid and Zarqa. In 2010, it financed over 27,000 loans valued at about US$ 38 million.

Sources: UNRWA