Addressing Impacts of the Syria Complex Crisis

OVERVIEW

THE CRISIS IN SYRIA

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Government of Jordan (GOJ) have partnered in development in Jordan for more than 60 years. USAID has longstanding programs in Jordan in water, education, health, economic development and energy, and democracy and governance. The Syria crisis – and resulting influx of refugees into Jordan – has impacted USAID’s ongoing activities, as well as the GOJ’s ability to meet the needs of the people within its borders. USAID supports the GOJ and Jordan’s host communities as they cope with the crisis. USAID has re-oriented existing programs to account for the refugee situation and has dedicated additional funding to focus on stresses caused by the Syria crisis.

STRESSES ON JORDANIAN COMMUNITIES

  • Increased costs for education, health and energy.
  • Crowded classrooms with divergent student skills and educational backgrounds.
  • Increased pressure on scarce water and wastewater resources.
  • Crowded health facilities and shortages of medications and other health supplies in some communities.
  • Increased tension within communities due to greater competition for employment, increased costs for food and housing, and more solid waste and litter.
  • Increased potential for gender-based violence and human trafficking.
  • Disruption to commerce and trade patterns.

HOW USAID IS MITIGATING THE IMPACT

A young girl drinks water from a USAID-funded water catchment system. Credit: Alyssa Mueller
A young girl drinks water from a USAID-funded water catchment system.

DIRECT ECONOMIC SUPPORT TO THE GOVERMENT OF JORDAN

  • Providing an additional $552 million in budget support and backing for $3.75 billion in loan guarantees since FY 2012, $419 million of which has gone toward helping the GOJ cope with pressures caused by the crisis.

 

WATER AND SANITATION

  • Supporting the construction of the Za’atri-Hofa pipeline and pumping station, the rehabilitation of Sumayah pump station, and the construction of Mafraq wastewater treatment plant to significantly increase water supply and wastewater treatment services in northern Jordan.
  • Providing funding for water conservation and infrastructure renovations, including small loans and grants for water catchment and storage, and support to water companies for infrastructure repair and maintenance.
  • Transporting and re-commissioning a wastewater treatment plant from Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan to Azraq Refugee Camp in coordination with the State Department (Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration), UNICEF and the U.S. Army. The plant serves 20,000 refugees.

HEALTH

 

Support to Ministry of Health facilities increases access to health services for Jordanians and Syrians alike.
Support to Ministry of Health facilities increases access to health services for Jordanians and Syrians alike.
  •  Investing $45 million in constructing and renovating key Ministry of Health facilities across Jordan, increasing the GOJ’s ability to provide essential health services to Jordanians and Syrian refugees. This includes the ongoing expansion to Princess Rahma Pediatric Hospital – northern Jordan’s only pediatric referral hospital – to improve health services for host communities and increase capacity by 35%.
  • Directing $65 million toward improving the GOJ’s ability to deliver family planning services and maternal and child health care to communities under pressure from Syrian refugees. 

EDUCATION AND YOUTH

 

  •  Expanding 120 new schools (20 of which are accelerated “fast track” expansions), renovating 150 schools, and building 25 new schools, targeting areas with large numbers of Syrian refugees.
  • Providing UNICEF with $12 million to support their work in refugee host communities with early childhood education, back to school campaigns, and youth empowerment.
  • Funding non-formal education for 2,000 Jordanians and Syrians who have dropped out or have not been able to enter the public school system.
Students participating in locally-driven school beautification efforts targeting Irbid host communities.
Students participating in locally-driven school beautification efforts targeting Irbid host communities.
  • Additional funds are being used to respond to the Syria crisis by implementing an early grade reading and math diagnostic tool, and by scaling up a teacher training program promoting inclusive teaching methods.

DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE

  • Partnering with host communities, municipalities, and other stakeholders through a Community Engagement Project to promote community cohesion and tolerance via dialogue and conflict mitigation.
  • Engaging Jordanians and Syrians in participatory decision-making, using discussion forums in select neighborhoods of Irbid and Mafraq on human rights, the role of media, and citizenship.
  • Partnering with local organizations to support local initiatives to address community-identified issues including trafficking in persons, hate speech, early marriage, and violence in schools.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

  •  Producing an assessment of the fiscal impact of the refugee influx that will improve budget planning.
  • Training provided to micro- and small enterprises to encourage economic growth and increased investment, leading to resiliency and increased stability among vulnerable populations.
  • Conducting a survey to identify the economic impacts of the Syrian presence in Jordan including Syrian economic activity and potential skill sets, and their impact on Jordanian employment​ (including wages), investment, and inflation.

ADDITIONAL SUPPORT

  • Providing Syrian refugees in Jordan with food, food vouchers, or e-vouchers in the form of a debit card, allowing them to buy provisions at local markets, benefiting both refugees and local merchants.
  • Creating more than $400 million in indirect economic benefits to Jordan, providing $2.5 million in physical infrastructure investments, and creating 400 jobs to date, in addition to generating $6 million in tax receipts for the GOJ as of the end of 2014 through support to the U.N. World Food Program.
  • Providing physical therapy for victims of torture.
  • USAID is investing $230 million to expand 120 schools, renovate 150 schools, and build 25 new schools, targeting areas with large numbers of Syrian refugees. 
  • USAID is providing an additional $552 million in budget support and $3.75 billion in loan guarantees to the Government of Jordan.  A portion of this assistance will help alleviate the additional financial pressure on essential services brought on by the influx of Syrian refugees. 

Last updated: February 04, 2016

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