Jordan hosts more than 650,000 Syrian refugees who have fled the civil war, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with 80% of them living outside of the three main refugee camps in the north of the country. After several years in exile, and with restricted income generation opportunities, many refugees have depleted their assets and, as a result, often resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as taking their children out of school, accruing massive amounts of debt, reducing their food intake, or accepting hazardous and exploitative work conditions.
Syrians living in host communities who are not duly registered with the Jordanian Ministry of Interior (MoI) and the UNHCR are denied access to public subsidised healthcare, humanitarian assistance, and decent job opportunities through work permits. They lack an official record of major family events, such as births or marriages, and are exposed to risks of arrest, forced relocation, family separation, and even deportation and statelessness.
On March 4th 2018, the MoI and the UNHCR launched a status regularisation campaign, which gives Syrian refugees who did not register with the authorities when they entered Jordan, or left the camps without prior approval, the possibility to legalise their residence in host communities. DRC and five other international NGOs have formed a consortium, funded by the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), which provides legal information and counselling for close to 100,000 Syrian refugees and financial assistance to more than 50,000 individuals, in order to support this regularisation process and enhance these refugees’ resilience and protection status.