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Jordan: Syrian refugees have no intention to repatriate

February 21, 2019 at 12:45 am

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

The Syrian refugees currently staying in Jordan have no desire to return back to their home country, Jordanian Prime Minister, Osama Al-Razzaz, warned yesterday.

“We are now entering a new phase of the Syrian crisis, however, the impact is still ongoing,” Razzaz said during the 11th meeting to launch the Jordan Response Platform (JRP) for the Syria Crisis for the year 2019.

“The conditions for their [Syrian refugees] return are not present,” he stressed.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the number of refugees that so far returned voluntarily was “low,” reiterating that most of the refugees “have no intention of going back any time soon.”

“Countries that receive and host refugees, often for extended periods, make an immense contribution from their own limited resources to the collective good and, indeed, to the cause of humanity,” Razzaz explained.

Read: Funds raised for Syrian refugees who lost all 7 children in Canada fire

Hailing the international community’s support – including the United Nations (UN) and the Western governments – the premier said that it had “helped the country [Jordan] in staying resilient in a very difficult regional setting.”

The JRP meeting – which earmarked a $2.4 billion budget for 2019 – which was attended by a number of the Jordanian relevant ministries, ambassadors of major Western and Arab donors, United Nations (UN) representatives, and international humanitarian organisations. It was said to have taken place in preparation for the upcoming London conference due on 28 February to support the Kingdom’s economy and investment.

Jordan has been struggling to curb public debt of $40 billion, equivalent to 95 per cent of its gross domestic product, under a tough International Monetary Fund (IMF) austerity plan.

Officials say only around 10,000 refugees, out of a total estimated at 1.3 million in the kingdom, had left since the two countries opened the vital Nassib-Jaber border crossing last October.