Quarter of Syrian Refugees in Jordan Food Insecure: WFP

Amman, March 15 (AFP/APP): A quarter of Syrian refugees in Jordan are food insecure and almost two thirds are on the brink, the World Food Programme said Monday.

This month marks 10 years since the start of the civil war in Syria that has seen over five million Syrians flee abroad, mainly to neighbouring countries, including Jordan, according to UN figures.

“Food insecurity among refugees is now the highest since the families started coming from Syria 10 years ago,” Alberto Correia Mendes, the WFP’s Jordan director, told reporters during a virtual press conference. “A quarter of refugees across Jordan are food insecure and 65 percent are on the edge of food insecurity, a stark increase since the (coronavirus) pandemic started,” he added. “Families are asking their children to eat less, removing them from school, sending them to work or even to beg.”

Some 660,000 Syrian refugees are registered with the UN in Jordan, with authorities putting the number at 1.3 million. The kingdom hosts the second-largest number of refugees per capita in the world. UN refugee agency representative in Jordan Dominik Bartsch said at the press conference that, “a political solution that will allow the return of refugees to Syria is the ultimate goal”.

But, he added, “while they remain in Jordan, we must ensure that sufficient opportunities are available for refugees, alongside Jordanians, so that they can be productive members of society”.

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