Families fleeing war in Syria face poverty and tough winter in Amman, Jordan


Families fleeing the on-going violence in Syria are arriving in Jordan and many are heading for the capital, Amman. A recent survey carried out by CARE found that 40 percent of refugees surveyed in Amman are extremely vulnerable and in dire need of help.

Families fleeing war in Syria face poverty and tough winter in Amman, Jordan image 1
Refugee boys in East-Amman, where Syrian refugees are living. © 2012 Thomas Schwarz/CARE

Parents are fearful about being able to pay their rent, buy food and prepare for winter.

Many families had to sell belongings to get out of Syria and are left with little in the way of savings. The rental costs in Amman mean that the risk of falling into spiralling debt is high. Families are afraid they will be evicted and some are even considering a return to their war torn country.

One father CARE staff met, Hai Nazzal, told us that: "Rent is the most important thing for us, if we don't have a roof over our heads we will have to go back to Syria – I can't keep my children here on the streets."

No household we visited is in any way prepared for winter where temperatures plummet to as low as 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Eighty-two percent of those surveyed currently have no access to any heating source.

Parents like Abdul told CARE: "We have no heater, too few blankets and no warm clothes. We're very worried. It's going to get very cold, and it's so damp in these rooms."

CARE's Country Director in Jordan, Kevin Fitzcharles, said: "These families have fled their homes in fear for their lives and now find themselves living in poverty, facing a cold, hard winter. We are providing more than 20,000 refugees with help to pay for food, rent, blankets and heaters so they don't fall further into poverty and hardship."

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About CARE: Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters.

CARE has been working in Jordan since 1948. CARE Jordan has extensive experience working with refugees, providing livelihood training and opportunities, emergency cash assistance, information sharing and psychosocial support to Iraqi refugees since 2003.