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Jordan has spent $10 billion on hosting Syrian refugees

Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp which is home to 80,000 Syrian refugees [Save the Children]

Jordan estimates that it’s spent more than $10 billion on hosting thousands of refugees who have been displaced from neighbouring Syria since the war broke out.

According to the UN over 650,000 Syrian refugees are currently being housed in Jordan however according to Jordanian authorities the figure is closer 1.3 million.

On social media the foreign ministry confirmed that “more than $10.3 billion” had been spent on healthcare, education, employment, public services and subsidised food for the Syrian refugees.

An estimated $1.7 billion is expected to be spent this year in covering costs for the refugees who live in permanent camps, such as the Zaatari camp.

Refugees have also benefited from financial exemptions provided by the Jordanian Labour Ministry in order to encourage them to apply for work permits which began last year. This came after European countries promised to facilitate the entry of Jordanian exports into their countries, in exchange for granting 200,000 work permits to refugees.

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The Kingdom has called on the international community to do more for the refugee crisis in the region but was criticised recently by Human Rights Watch (HRW) for allegedly “summarily deporting” Syrian refugees.

According to HRW at the beginning of the year around 400 refugees were being removed each month in the hope of preventing the same violence in Syria from spilling over onto Jordanian territory following a number of armed attacks.

However Jordanian authorities insist that those who have left have done so voluntarily and were sent to areas considered safe.

The UN refugee agency has said that 93 per cent of the Syrian refugees in Jordan currently live below the poverty line with around 180,000 of them housed in two camps in the desert.

The UN estimates that more than five million Syrians have been displaced from Syria since fighting began in 2011 and have sought refuge in the surrounding countries of Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

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