Since 2003, Mercy Corps has been working to support Jordanians as well as Syrian refugees who have fled to the country. Last year we supported more than 1 million people. Our programs strive to meet basic needs, build strong and engaged communities, increase economic opportunities, and promote growth that also protects scarce natural resources.
Jordan is located in western Asia and is bordered by Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Israel and Palestine (West Bank) — the population is about 10 million people. Jordan is often seen as a refuge from crisis, measured not on its own terms, but on the terms of its neighbors.
Jordan has become home to more than 650,000 Syrian refugees since the Syrian conflict began in 2011. Even though formal refugee camps do exist, most Syrians live outside of them.
This population influx further strains Jordan’s already overburdened education, health, public service and natural resource infrastructures affecting both refugees as well as Jordanian host communities. High unemployment rates and a rising cost of living can also be a source of tension within communities.
Additionally, Jordan is one of the most water scarce countries in the world and with a rapidly expanding population (the population is expected to double by 2047), meeting water demands has become more critical than ever.
Mercy Corps sees Jordan as a place beyond refuge, shaped by the crises on its borders, but not defined by them. We acknowledge these challenges while also seeing opportunity for Jordanians and Syrian refugees to build better lives.
Our team of 250 members in Jordan are led by Country Director Hunter Keith. More than 235 of them are from Jordan. From providing psychosocial support to helping entrepreneurs strengthen their microbusinesses, we ensure solutions are community-led and market-driven.
We work with vulnerable populations to make sure their basic needs are met in a safe and dignified way. This often means providing cash assistance, educational opportunities (especially for children with disabilities), and safe spaces for kids to play and families to advance their resiliency.
At the community level, we work with leaders to alleviate tensions and strengthen relationships between each other and also with government actors.
To help transition people on a pathway to self-reliance, we prepare job seekers for employment with relevant technical and vocational skills trainings while simultaneously working with businesses and entrepreneurs to ensure safe, equitable and decent work opportunities. With a focus on bold, technology-enhanced solutions, we are tackling youth unemployment.
Throughout, we make sure we are not unnecessarily draining water and energy resources. To take this a step further, we work with families as well as the agricultural sector to develop better systems and tools to change behaviors around water use.
At Mercy Corps, we provide Jordanian host communities and Syrian refugees with a variety of opportunities and services that meet both their urgent and long-term needs. Here are some of our results to date:
- In 2017, more than 1 million people benefited from our work.
- We have provided nearly 3,200 refugee and vulnerable Jordanian households with cash to help them obtain missing documentation, prepare for the winter or meet other urgent needs.
- Every month, 8,000 young people use the services at our safe spaces in Zaatari refugee camp.
- More than 4,500 children with disabilities have access been enrolled in our inclusive education program receiving rehabilitation services, accommodative equipment and/or academic support.
How to help
Jordan, Syria: From refugee to role model
Sami hated life in the refugee camp when he arrived. Now, two years later, he’s helping other young people shift their perspective and dream for the future.
Jordan, Syria: After despair: Sami's story
Two years ago, Sami felt alone and trapped in his new life at Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp. Now, he's turned his experience around and is helping others as a volunteer for one of Mercy Corps' youth centers.
Jordan, Syria: Beyond water: New solutions in one of the driest countries
Change begins with clean water. See how we're repairing Jordan's aging water system to bring more of the vital resource to citizens and Syrian refugees.
Jordan, Syria: Video: More than a playground
After fleeing Syria, Hayat made Jordan her home away from home. Learn how a playground, and Mercy Corps' community leader training, helped her feel less alone.
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: 8 important things Syrians have lost to four years of war
Four years after the start of the war in Syria, millions of refugees are still far from home. What are the daily challenges they face?
Jordan, Syria: Photos: Winter through the eyes of Syrian refugee children
In their own words, Syrian refugee children at Zaatari camp tell us what the winter has been like — and what they wish for to get through the freezing weather.
Jordan, Syria: The promise of education brings Syrian and Jordanian girls together
Until recently, Zaatari Village's girls' school was overcrowded and tensions were high. Community leaders worked together to change things for the better.
Jordan, Syria: The Prince of Wales visits youth and leaders at Zaatari Village
Just outside of Zaatari camp, Zaatari village is home to both Syrian refugees and their Jordanian neighbors. Mercy Corps training is helping leaders work together to build a stronger community.
Jordan, Syria: Winter's grasp deepens worries for refugees
Refugee families in Jordan need help to make it through another brutal winter. One young family’s story of survival.
Jordan, Syria: Photos from the field: Winter storm hits refugees
We're bringing in heaters and warm clothing for children in refugee camps that have been inundated by fierce snow and rain over the last week.