Jordan's 'forgotten' urban refugees from Syria

Published on 24 March 2014

In Jordan, the vast majority of about 600,000 registered Syrian refugees shelter in towns and cities, not camps, and they are struggling just to survive. Almost four out of five Syrian refugees in Jordan live outside the formal camps, but get nothing like the same amount of international attention. The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) says it is concerned that many Syrians living in urban areas have "reached the limits of their ability to cope", finding it hard to pay rents, while facing inadequate housing and educational challenges for children. Zarqa is drawing Syrians fleeing the violent three-year civil war because of its proximity to the border and its relative affordability compared with other towns, such as Mafraq and Irbid, where rents and food prices have skyrocketed.

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