Syrian refugees in Jordan struggle to survive

Amman, 7 March 2016 - Five years since the beginning of the conflict in Syria, refugees living in Jordan face enormous challenges and humanitarian assistance is essential to keep them alive. ICMC has been delivering essential support to Syrian refugees, in the form of rent assistance, distribution of non-food items, psychological support, and other services since 2012.

Noor, a Syrian refugee from Homs, is raising her nine children alone in Mafraq, Jordan.Noor, a Syrian refugee from Homs, is raising her nine children alone in Mafraq, Jordan. Photo: ICMC / Nathalie Perroud Noor* is a Syrian refugee woman living in a city in Northern Jordan together with her nine children: six boys and three girls. Noor fled Homs, her home town, three years ago with her husband and children. Shortly after their arrival, her husband – who had been working illegally in Jordan – was caught by the police and deported back to Syria. Since then, Noor has been raising her children on her own.  The youngest of them is less than one year old.

Noor receives financial assistance from several NGOs, but she struggles to make ends meet. When she desperately needs money, she goes to a local farm – quite far from where she lives – to collect tomatoes and potatoes. “It is dangerous to leave my children on their own when I go to the farm”, she said. “Anything could happen, like a fire or an accident. But I do not have any other options. My 16-year-old son sometimes works as well, to help me out. The police have already caught him once, though, and I am scared for him to be also sent back to Syria,” she confessed.

The other boys in the family also face important challenges, especially as far as education is concerned: she enrolled them into a local school, but they were frequently beaten up by other children. One day, Noor was caught into a fight while trying to defend her sons. Eventually, she gave up and the boys had to stop going to school. Her three daughters are also staying at home, as they were not accepted in the already overcrowded local schools.

“In Syria, we used to own a house with a big, nice garden and a car-selling business”, Noor remembered with sadness. “We had a very good income and a good quality of life. Now, we survive with food vouchers and help from aid organizations”.

Noor has indeed been receiving rent assistance from ICMC for four months, which was paid directly to her landlord. The assistance was helpful, Noor commented, as it allowed her to take care of other expenses which she couldn’t afford before.

“Life in Jordan is so difficult. And the help we get from different organizations is not sufficient to cover our needs”, Noor explained. “If ever there will be peace in any parts of Syria, I will go back to my country”.

Remembering life in Syria, her children added: “It was fun playing with our friends at school and in our beautiful garden. Here in Jordan, we do not have many friends. At school, some children were constantly beating us. We had to stop going there.”

Violence towards Syrian refugees is not uncommon in Jordan. In order to prevent tensions between Syrians and Jordanian host communities, ICMC includes 30% of Jordanian beneficiaries in all of its humanitarian activities.

If you would like to help ICMC increase its support to Syrian refugees in Jordan, you can make a donation online.


* The name was changed for confidentiality reasons.