The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) launched an appeal on Wednesday for $27 million to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in Jordan.
“As part of a global appeal which calls for $255 million to urgently support preparedness and response measures for refugees and those forcibly displaced, money needed for Jordan will go towards maintaining essential services such as hospitals and clinics,” the UNHCR said on its website.
The money is to be funnelled towards “refugee camps, procuring medical equipment, providing urgent cash assistance and stepping up life-saving protection interventions such as urgent referrals for domestic violence cases and other forms of gender-based violence.”
UNHCR said that it has already contributed $1.2 million this week to the Ministry of Health in the Kingdom. “This is to aid the procurement of medical equipment, laboratory tests and personal protective equipment (PPE),” it explained. “To date in Jordan there have been no cases of refugees who have contracted the coronavirus but UNHCR continues to observe the negative impact of measures to prevent the spread of the virus on refugee families as well as the local Jordanian host community.”
It added that, with many refugees relying on the informal economy for work, the effects of a reduced number of job opportunities on vulnerable individuals has already been stark.
“Over the last two weeks at UNHCR, colleagues across the organisation have received hundreds of enquiries from vulnerable refugee families requesting additional support because of the dire financial situation they are finding themselves in,” said UNHCR Jordan Representative Dominik Bartsch. “We hope that funds raised through this appeal will go some way in alleviating the challenges they are facing as well as supporting the government of Jordan in implementing a comprehensive and inclusive response.”