Five years into the crisis the prospects for a prompt return of the millions of Syrian refugees to their home country are remote. Even in the unlikely event of a solution to the crisis, it will take more than a decade for the country to rebuild. While some Syrian refugees will return and others may attempt to relocate to third-countries, the majority are expected to remain till the end of the crisis in those countries neighboring Syria that have generously sheltered them for the past five years. For host nations, the magnitude and longevity of the crisis will likely translate into mounting costs and ever-increasing challenges to the social, economic and political fabric of the country.
Jordan is host to about 1.4 million Syrians1 , including around 630,000 refugees 2. While some 83 per cent of all refugees have settled in host communities, particularly in the urban area of Amman and the northern governorates of Jordan, the remaining are hosted in refugee camps.
In providing for their needs, Jordan has received support from the international community. Funding, however, has not been proportionate to meet all response requirements, and whereas needs are increasing in some sectors, trends in contributions for 2015 suggest that overall international support has not kept pace with the needs. By November 2015, roughly US$1.07 billion had been committed to the JRP2015, which corresponds to 36 per cent of the funding requirements.3 Meanwhile, refugee communities are becoming increasingly vulnerable.
Although refugee inflows can present opportunities for important transformations, funding shortfalls have contributed to increased pressure on national services and infrastructure thereby affecting Jordan’s resilience. Overcrowded health centers and schools, overstretched water, sanitation and municipal services, as well as pressures on the environment, labor and housing markets have left Jordanians feeling increasingly disenfranchised and neglected.
Slower-than-foretasted macroeconomic performance and pressure on public spending continues to limit Jordan’s ability to invest in development, ultimately eroding the country’s capacity to maintain its developmental gains and deal with future challenges.