Eighty-five percent of registered Syrian refugee children live below the poverty line in Jordan, a new UNICEF report has found.
“Syrian refugee families living in host communities in Jordan are increasingly struggling to meet their basic needs, including educating and protecting their children,” the UN body said in a statement, adding that 94 percent of Syrian children under the age of five living in host communities are “multidimensionally poor,” meaning that they are deprived of a minimum of two out of the following five basic needs – education, health, water and sanitation, child protection and child safety.
“With the unparalleled massive scale of the Syria crisis and its prolonged nature, Jordan needs continued support in order to manage the impact of this crisis and meet the needs of vulnerable children,” said Robert Jenkins, UNICEF representative in Jordan. “Seven years into this crisis, we need to collectively continue to do all that we can to support vulnerable refugee children and their families that are struggling to meet their basic needs.”
The report said 45 percent of Syrian refugee children under the age of five are not accessing proper health services, including vaccinations and disability services. While 38 percent of Syrian children are not in school, citing distance, cost, lack of space and bullying as reasons for dropping out or not enrolling in schools.
UNICEF said it has a funding shortfall of $145.7 million to meet the needs of all vulnerable children and youth in Jordan in 2018.
According to the UNHCR, there are approximately 660,000 registered Syrian refugees in the Kingdom, the majority of whom live outside refugee camps. The government estimates that a total of 1.3 million Syrians live across the Kingdom.