CARE Australia is thrilled by the Department of Home Affairs’ decision to increase funding to assist the refugee crisis in Jordan. It will help some of the world’s most vulnerable people lift themselves out of poverty.
Since the war in Syria started in 2011, more than 655,000 Syrians have fled to safety in neighbouring Jordan. Instability in the greater region has led to a total of 1.3 million people seeking refuge in Jordan – a figure which now constitutes 14 per cent of the country’s population.
This is placing a heavy burden on Jordan’s resources, public services, and is creating pockets of extremely vulnerable groups. Women and girls in particular are at much higher risk of violence when displaced from their homes, and those who can’t make ends meet often resort to desperate measures like sending their children to work. In fact, by 2017, 40 per cent of Syrian children in Jordan were missing school. And 66 per cent of them were working to support their families.
13-year-old Syrian refugee Riham (pictured) lives with her family in Jordan. Her family’s financial situation had deteriorated so significantly that her parents faced an impossible dilemma: they could no longer afford to send Riham to school, and were even struggling to feed her. They were forced to consider marrying off the teenager to a husband who would be able to provide for her.
Fortunately, CARE heard Riham’s story, and enrolled her in a Cash for Education program, which provides her family with $100 per month to cover her needs, enabling her to stay in school and avoid becoming a child bride. Thankful to CARE for her chance to return to school, Riham now actively campaigns against early marriage.
CARE is helping take the pressure off thousands of families like Riham’s, by providing cash grants to help pay for urgent needs like shelter, food, and education. We are also providing vocational training and job placement to hundreds of women to help them find jobs.
CARE creates safe spaces for women to address topics such as gender-based violence and child protection, and to undergo counselling. We provide support to women and girls to cope with the fear, anger and sadness of having to restart their lives in a new country.
Over the next two years, the project is hoping to help as many as 130,000 people. CARE Australia once again thanks the Department of Home Affairs for helping to change the lives of so many people in need.