Thousands of refugees from Syria arrive to Jordan every week and in most cases they have been forced to leave their homes quickly, leaving behind all their personal possessions. On their arrival, Syrian refugees are often unable to find work and are faced with highly inflated prices for accessing essential services, including food, water and shelter. As a result of this they are often unable to cover the cost of rent which would allow them to live in adequate housing and an increasing number of families are moving from standard accommodation in Jordanian communities to informal tented settlements. Syrian refugee tented settlements are dispersed and regularly relocating within the country. As a result, it has been hard to assess their size as well as to provide a response to the needs of these families, amongst the most vulnerable Syrian refugees.
In response, UNICEF commissioned REACH to assess the scale, location and socio-economic characteristics of informal settlements in Jordan. The latest report released by REACH indicated that over 3,000 individuals in the governorates of Al Mafraq, Balqa, and Irbid alone are living in sub-standard conditions, with no or little access to essential services and with a majority of children not attending school because their parents pay school fees. REACH’s report aims to support evidence-based and targeted humanitarian assistance in informal tented settlements in Al Mafraq, Balqa, and Irbid. Starting from January 2014, with the support of UNICEF, REACH will track the movement and evolution of needs for each informal tented settlement in Jordan in order to help humanitarian actors respond to meet their ever expanding needs.