Syrians denied critical healthcare in Jordan: Amnesty
Thousands of Syrian refugees fleeing war in their country have been denied access to healthcare services in neighboring Jordan, Amnesty International says.
In a Wednesday report, the human rights group said the refugees are finding it very difficult to receive medical care because of high fees, bureaucracy, and shrinking humanitarian financial support.
According to the report, the majority of 630,000 Syrian asylum seekers registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Jordan live in poverty outside refugee camps, with many suffering chronic health conditions.
Jordanian authorities have imposed increasing restrictions for Syrians trying to enter the country since 2012, it said. A number of the Syrians injured in the conflict have died after being turned away at the border.
According to Amnesty, Syrian asylum seekers who have left the camps unofficially or re-entered Jordan after returning to Syria are not eligible to obtain documents required by Jordanian officials to receive public services, including healthcare,.
It cited last July when 14 wounded Syrians, including five children with shrapnel wounds, were prevented from entering Jordan, four of whom died while waiting at the border.
“To not even allow the entry to people who are fleeing a conflict zone with serious injuries because they don’t have ID papers shows a chilling lack of compassion and appalling disregard for their rights to health and life,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Amnesty’s head of refugee and migrants’ rights.
“While Jordan is undeniably under a huge strain from hosting hundreds of thousands of refugees from Syria with limited international support, the authorities cannot ignore their obligation to ensure that all persons are able to access health services,” he added.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011.
According to a February report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.