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Islamic Relief staff member talking to children


Jordan is a small country with just 12% of land used for agriculture and scarce water supplies. As the 6th biggest refugee hosting country in the world, resources are stretched to breaking point. We’re supporting refugee families in Jordan to help face the future with greater stability.

With a refugee population of over two million, primarily from Palestine, Syria and Iraq, Jordan is a major host of families fleeing violence and conflict. For just under a quarter of the refugees living in camps across Jordan, conditions are extremely poor. Little or no access to water and electricity increases the risk of disease and vermin infestations, jeopardising people’s health, safety and ultimately their lives.

Surgeons operating on patient in Islamic Relief hospital
Image: Surgeons perform an operation at a hospital funded by Islamic Relief.

The situation in Jordan

Due to high unemployment rates and highly stretched resources, many communities in Jordan are almost at breaking point.


of the population are unemployed

655, 000

Syrian refugees are registered in Jordan (UNHCR, 2017)


of refugees are classed or poor or on the brink of poverty (World Bank/UNHCR, 2015)

2 million

Palestinian refugees live in Jordan (UNRWA, 2016)

1 in 7

people live on less than $1.90 (£1.40) a day (World Bank, 2010)

Islamic Relief in Jordan

Only 5 countries host more refugees than Jordan, which has a refugee population of over 2 million, primarily from Palestine, Syria and Iraq.

The country’s resources are stretched to breaking point. Around 25% of refugees in Jordan live in camps scattered across the country, in which conditions are extremely poor. Little or no access to water and electricity increases the risk of disease, jeopardising people’s health, safety and ultimately their lives.

Islamic Relief began its work in Jordan in 1997, to support the largest Palestinian camp in the country located in Baqa’ah. Our first programme was an Orphan Sponsorship Programme, which began by supporting 500 orphaned children, alongside qurbani and Ramadan programmes which saw food distributed to families across the country.

In 2011, when the Syrian crisis first escalated, large numbers of people fled to neighbouring Jordan. Islamic Relief was among the first to help them, providing them with survival items, food, and medical assistance. We have also ensured sponsorship of some orphaned Syrian children.

Having established a strong reputation in the country, Islamic Relief Jordan became one of the biggest partners to the World Food Programme’s food voucher project. From the early years of the Syrian crisis, we have distributed food assistance in northern Jordan, where most Syrian refugees live. Other notable partners to Islamic Relief Jordan include the UK government’s then Department for International Development; the German government’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ); and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA).

Islamic Relief in action

Jordan’s health sector has faced challenges since the Syria crisis began. Rates of poor health have increased and 50% of refugees have reported rising costs associated with their health. In 2021, Islamic Relief delivered a large healthcare project in Amman, Irbid, and Mafraq, Ramtha, Karak, and Tufaila.

The project covered the cost of surgeons, nurses, and anaesthesiologists assisting patients with disabilities. By providing access to healthcare services to the most vulnerable, it has eased pressure on the public health system and helped improve the health of Syrian and Palestinian refugees, and local community.

Women sat together in an Islamic-Relief run women's group
Image: An Islamic Relief aid worker offers advice and support to Syrian refugees.

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