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UN Relief & Works Agency (UNRWA): Palestinian Refugees in Jordan

(Updated February 2017)

More than 2 million registered Palestine refugees live in Jordan.

Most Palestine refugees in Jordan, but not all, have full citizenship. There are ten recognized Palestine refugee camps throughout the country, which accommodate nearly 370,000 Palestine refugees, or 18 per cent of the country total. Jordan hosts the largest number of Palestine refugees of all of the UNWRA fields.

Nearly ten thousand Palestine refugees from Syria (PRS) have sought assistance from UNRWA in Jordan. The majority of them are believed to suffer from abject poverty and live in a precarious legal status. UNRWA is working to accommodate PRS children in its schools and to provide relief and health care to those in need.

Jordan UNRWA Camps

Camp

Number of Refugees

Baqa'a

119,000

Amman New Camp

57,000

Marka

53,000

Jabal el-Hussein

32,000

Irbid

28,000

Husn

25,000

Zarqa

20,000

Souf

19,000

Jerash

29,000

Talbieh

8,000

TOTAL

390,000

Facts and figures

  • 2,117,361 registered Palestine refugees
  • Ten official camps
  • 174 schools, with 118,546 pupils
  • One Faculty of Science and Educational Arts
  • Two vocational and technical training centres
  • 23 primary health centres
  • Ten community rehabilitation centres
  • 14 women’s programme centres

Challenges

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.

Education

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.

Health

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.

Microcredit

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