As of November 2015, 630,000 Syrian refugees were registered in Jordan, 80% of whom were staying in host communities, either in urban or peri-urban areas, isolated rural properties, or informal settlements. Jordan also hosts various Syrian refugee camps, including the largest in the MENA region: Za’atari refugee camp has a population of approximately 78,000 refugees, while Azraq has approximately 27,000 refugees (November 2015). Within this context, REACH was deployed to Jordan in late 2012, and has supported since the humanitarian response towards Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians both in camps and host community contexts.

 REACH’s work in camps has focused on Za’atari and Azraq refugee camps.

  • Since 2013, in collaboration with UNHCR and UNICEF, REACH has supported humanitarian planning in Za’atariby conducting regular population counts and profiling (the latest report was released in February 2015, together with an interactive dashboard) as well as thematic assessments on a broad range of issues including: key infrastructure; WASH block monitoring; use of mass communications; winterisation needs; market and livelihood studies; access to education and health; and, assistance needs. REACH also established a mapping centre in the camp to meet the mapping needs of humanitarian actors. REACH is currently involved in providing assessment and mapping capacity in support of winterisation and inclement weather preparedness planning for the coming winter months. Additionally, through active membership in the secretariat of the Needs Based Working Group, REACH provides technical guidance and support to other partner assessments in the camp.  
  • Since June 2014 REACH has worked with UNICEF and UNHCR in Azraq refugee camp to complete fortnightly WASH block monitoring, monthly general infrastructure mapping and a shelter satisfaction and public leisure spaces opinion survey. In addition, REACH has led on specific assessments such as a shelter report in January 2015 that helped prioritise shelter improvements as a key mechanism for enhancing the well-being of refugees residing in the camp. Additionally, REACH conducted a comprehensive child focused assessment (CCFA) at the household level in June 2015 to better inform UNICEF related sectors such as WASH, education, youth and people with disabilities. 

Since 2012, REACH’s work in host communities has focused on two key themes: 1) Refugee vulnerability and 2) Social cohesion and resilience of Jordanian host communities and Syrian refugees.

  1. Measuring vulnerability and needs of refugees living in host communities:
    • In partnership with UNICEF and UNHCR, in 2012 and 2013 REACH carried out profiling exercises of refugees residing in Jordanian host communities, providing an overview of their situation and needs.
    • To track annual changes in refugee vulnerability, REACH and WFP conducted a nation-wide Comprehensive Food Security Monitoring Exercise (CFSME) in 2014 and 2015. Findings from this assessment feed directly into WFP planning and inform effective evidence-based targeting of humanitarian assistance for Syrian refugees.
    • REACH has conducted, in partnership with UNICEF, regular assessments on vulnerable communities of refugees residing in Informal Tented Settlements (ITS)outside formally established camps, usually a mix of tents and Bedouin-style shelters. In June 2014 REACH conducted a nation-wide ITS Census, which was complemented in August 2014 by a second nation-wide ITS assessment to inform key actors of current ITS locations and migration patterns and intentions of their residents.
    • In partnership with UNICEF, REACH conducted two nation-wide Joint Educational Needs Assessments (JENA) to evaluate access to education for Syrian refugee childrenin Za’atari Camp (September 2014) and in Jordan host communities (March 2015)
  2. Assessments of social cohesion and resilience of Jordanian host communities and Syrian refugees living outside camps:
    • In 2013, REACH, in partnership with FCO, mapped and assessed the levels of social cohesion and resilience in 446 communities hosting Syrian refugees. A follow up assessment in early 2014 targeted 160 communities identified as most at risk to tension and poor social cohesion.
    • Building on findings from the social cohesion and resilience assessments, REACH, in partnership with the World Bank, DFID, and FCO, monitors and evaluates the ongoing Jordan Emergency Services and Resilience Project, a multi-donor funded programme designed to support municipalities and improve service delivery, with the ultimate aim of addressing the factors which are driving tensions in the host communities. REACH has released a baseline assessment for this program, with monitoring assessments planned and underway until the end of 2016. Through these assessments, REACH aims to inform programs that improve service provision at the municipal level.