The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is going to unimaginable lengths in its efforts to host refugees from the region. The country’s 6.5 million inhabitants share their country, 80 percent of which consists of desert, with around three million refugees and guest workers. Foreign Minister Gabriel travelled to Jordan on Sunday (23 April) with a clear message, namely that the remarkable efforts by Syria’s neighbouring countries would not be forgotten.
A place of refuge for people in need
Monthly per capita income in Jordan is barely 500 US dollars. Despite this, the country has taken in people in need from the region time and again since gaining independence in 1946. Jordan has been a host country for Palestinian refugees since as long ago as 1947. An estimated 300,000 Iraqis have found a safe haven in the country. Up to 1.3 million more refugees have been taken in by Jordan in the wake of the bloody conflict in neighbouring Syria.
Education and employment for refugees
The country is therefore facing major challenges – and Germany stands firmly at Jordan’s side in its efforts to overcome them. This was not least apparent at the 2016 London donors’ conference Supporting Syria, at which Germany as a co-host made the largest individual pledge to the tune of 2.3 billion euros. The programme Jordan Compact, which has facilitated access to the labour market and education for Syrian refugees in Jordan, was adopted at this conference. Jordan is enjoying international support and trade facilitation in return.
Focus on education
Germany considers it to be particularly important for Syrian refugees to be able to attend schools and universities in Jordan. Having contributed 145 million euros to date, it is one of the largest donors in this domain. The Federal Foreign Office is helping to fund 90 scholarships for Master’s students at the German Jordanian University, for example. Alongside computer engineering, the degree courses include social work in the field of displacement and migration.
Foreign Minister Gabriel visited a community centre for refugees in the Jordanian capital Amman and held political talks with Prime Minister Hani al-Mulki as well as with Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi. “There is an incredible willingness in Jordan to take in refugees from Syria. We must support the country’s efforts!” The German Foreign Minister said that, as one of the world’s biggest donors of humanitarian assistance, Germany would be unwavering in its support. Gabriel left Amman for Israel on Monday.