ICMC provides rental assistance to vulnerable Syrian refugee and host community families in Jordan

Amman, 29 July 2014 - “Before ICMC helped us, I did not know how to pay the rent,” said Mohammad, age 33, a Syrian refugee in Irbid, Jordan.

An ICMC caseworker assists a refugee woman in JordanAn ICMC caseworker assists a refugee woman in Jordan. Photo: ICMC / Byers Mohammad first heard about ICMC when he registered his family as Syrian refugees with UNHCR. After visiting the family, ICMC staff determined that it was in an extremely vulnerable state and thus eligible for aid. With funding support from the US State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (BPRM), ICMC provides both refugees – including Mohammad‘s family – and host community households with rent subsidies to cover up to four months of full rental payment.

Like many Syrian refugee families, Mohammed traveled on foot to Jordan. “We experienced the hardship and the fatigue, the fear, the sound of shelling, witnessed discarded corpses on the street, and were constantly surrounded by the smell of blood”.

Mohammad and his pregnant wife walked four kilometers to the Jordanian border, where they arrived at the Zaatari camp. After one month in the crowded camp, the family moved out of Zaatari and into Mohammad’s cousin’s house. Yet, he wished to find a home of his own. “It was difficult to find affordable rent in good conditions”, he remembers.

Mohammad heard about ICMC when he registered his family as Syrian refugees with UNHCR. After being awarded assistance, Mohammad regained hope for the future: “Of course I am very sad to leave my home in Syria, but I feel safe in Jordan and now we are waiting for our new baby to come into the world”.

ICMC staff and volunteers in Jordan conduct regular visits to households in order to determine what refugees need the most – whether rent, supplies for the winter, baby hygiene supplies, or in some cases, social support in ICMC’s Protection Center for women and children. When the assistance period comes to an end, ICMC maintains contacts with the families to follow up on their situation. ICMC also supports Jordanian households to maintain stable relationships between the two communities and reduce the tension caused by scarce resources.