UNICEF says 85 percent of Syrian refugee children in Jordan live in poverty


The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has warned that 85 percent of Syrian refugee children in Jordan live in poverty, having a difficult time in satisfying their most “basic needs.”

According to figures announced by the UN agency on Sunday, some 38 percent of Syrian refugee children are also not in school and almost half of those under the age of five do not have access to proper healthcare.

The findings, which were based on interviews by hundreds of families among Jordan’s 660,000 registered Syrian refugees, showed that refugee children “are facing a more challenging time in meeting their minimum basic needs,” said Robert Jenkins, the UNICEF’s Jordan representative.

According to official figures, the overall number of registered and unregistered Syrian refugees in the Arab Kingdom stands at about 1.3 million.

Around 5.5 million Syrians have fled the foreign-backed militancy in their homeland since 2011, most of whom living in neighboring countries where they desperately struggle to survive.

The UN children agency in Jordan lacks some $145.7 million for child programs in 2018, said Jenkins, urging donor countries to step up at a time of growing need.

The kingdom sealed its border with Syria in June 2016, after a deadly cross-border attack by the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, leaving tens of thousands of Syrians stranded in a remote desert area. The closure ended the UN’s regular aid shipments from Jordan to displaced Syrians struggling for survival in a remote stretch of the desert.

However, back in early last month, Jordan agreed to a request by the UN to deliver humanitarian aid to thousands of displaced Syrians stranded in dire conditions in the vicinity of the border crossing with Syria.

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