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: Water scarcity and the Syrian refugee crisis
Jordan is running out of water. Our new report details the daily impact on families and provides key recommendations to help the millions in need.
Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: The human toll of the Syria crisis must be addressed long term
As civil war enters its fourth year, we're helping refugees and host countries cope with prolonged displacement — and urge international leaders to do the same.
Jordan, Syria: Winter for Ibrahim: Helping refugee kids stay warm in Zaatari
His mother thought they'd be able to return to Syria by now. How does a family survive winter without the basics of home?
Jordan, Syria: Preparing refugee families for a harsh winter
On a visit to deliver supplies to refugees outside camps, it's clear that blankets and heaters are just the beginning of what warms a home.
Jordan, Syria: A message for you from Syria's children
With your support, we're making sure refugee children don't feel forgotten. See what they created to say thank you for giving them hope for the future.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Raising awareness to prevent polio among Syrian refugee children
A polio outbreak in Syria raises concerns about disease in crowded refugee conditions. We're supporting UNCEF's vaccination campaign and addressing sanitation needs.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: In the News: NPR's All Things Considered visits Syrian refugees with Mercy Corps' child protection expert
Alexandra Chen spoke with NPR about the importance of treating symptoms of trauma in children displaced by the conflict.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Syrian humanitarian crisis demands new perspective on emergency response
Mercy Corps CEO Neal Keny-Guyer outlines key steps we should take to help Syrians caught in the civil war.
Jordan, Lebanon, Syria: Neal Keny-Guyer on Syria humanitarian crisis at the National Press Club
Watch the video and read the remarks from Mercy Corps' CEO.
Jordan, Syria: Toys bring smiles to Syrian refugee children
As these photos show, the arrival of stuffed animals and classics like Play-Doh and Memory gave kids a moment of happiness in otherwise dire circumstances.