The ongoing political and security crisis in Syria has led to a deterioration in the country's socio-economic conditions, particularly food security. Since March 2011, thousands of Syrians have crossed into Jordan to seek a safe haven. Many of these refugees are in need of humanitarian assistance, including food and shelter. Prices of commodities are higher in Jordan than Syria, limiting the purchasing power of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
As of 15 January 2013, more than 134,000 Syrians were registered with the UN Refugee UNHCR, while over 51,000 are awaiting registration. The majority of the Syrian refugees in Jordan are currently hosted by local communities in urban areas. According to the Government of Jordan, more than 300,000 Syrians have entered the country.
On 29 July, the Jordanian Government, UNHCR, WFP, UNICEF and the Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization (JHCO) opened Al Zaatari refugee camp after transit facilities at the Jordanian border became oversaturated with new arrivals.
Currently the camp, which is 15 km from Jordan's northern city of Mafraq near the Syrian border, can accommodate up to 45,000 refugees and a second camp in Zarqa is under preparation with an initial capacity of 5,500 people. In addition, the two transit centres of King Abdullah Park and Cyber City remain operational in Ramtha. The centres were opened in April 2012 to provide temporary shelter and protection for Syrians crossing the border into Jordan.