Poverty + Development

As Resources Run Dry, Syrian Refugees Cling to Survival in Jordan’s Urban Hubs

Four hours at the Za’atari refugee camp — a stifling, dusty maze of tents and makeshift shelters 30 miles from the Syrian border — was enough to convince Abd Mawla Juma’a that his family had to move on.

“There was no way we could stay in the camp,” said Juma’a, 37, who fled his home in Syria four years ago with his family.

We want to ensure no one is driven back to Syria because they could not afford a roof over their heads.

Juma’a contacted a relative in Jordan who helped him find a small two-room house in Rusaifa, a hardscrabble industrial city about 52 miles northeast of Amman. In the winters, the family huddles in a single room; in the summer, scorpions and other insects invade the building. His terrified children skirt snakes that coil up by the front door.

Image: A view of life inside Za’atri refugee camp, hosting tens of thousands of Syrians displaced by conflict, near Mafraq, Jordan. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

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