Hundreds of thousands of Syrians fled the violence in their homeland to Jordan. Many still live in camps while others have tried to start new lives in the city. Here, they speak of the challenges they face.
By Franziska Tschinderle and Bradley Secker (photos)
June 11, 2019
A total of 5.6 million people have left Syria since the beginning of the civil war there, and most of them have remained in the region. Many ended up in the neighboring country of Jordan. Indeed, according to government figures, the country of Jordan, with a population of just 9.7 million, is now home to 1.3 million Syrians. United Nations statistics include 660,000 people living in urban areas or large camps. In Germany, a country of 83 million, there are around 780,000 Syrians.
For years, Jordan has been considered the safest country in the Middle East, an island of stability surrounded by crisis: Syria to the north, Iraq to the east, Israel and the Palestinian territories to the west. In recent decades, the country’s population has increased by almost threefold and today, almost 30 percent of the people in Jordan have refugee backgrounds.
The increasing population has not been without problems: The new residents have intensified the competition for living quarters, jobs and water. Jordan is one of the driest countries on the planet and has few natural resources to exploit. Without foreign aid payments from Germany, the U.S. and the Gulf countries, Jordan would likely be unable to care for the refugees on its own — and provisions are meager enough as it is.