In the Holy month of Ramadan, refugee families from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region break fast in safe spaces provided by the UNHCR in Jordan.
Conflicts that have been brewing around the Middle East and North African (MENA) region have led to the displacement of millions of people, who have escaped to various countries around the world to find safe havens. Jordan has been one of the few safe havens in the MENA region that has accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees, namely from neighbouring Syria and Iraq, but also from across the wide region, including Yemen, Sudan and Somalia.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has played a vital role in helping Jordan to accommodate these refugees. The organisation recently organised an Iftar (the dinner by which Muslims break their fast during Ramadan) to bring the refugees together in a safe place.
A number of refugees expressed their opinions on the situation back home and why they have left their country.
Umm Abdullah, a refugee from Iraq, said the following, “We were tortured and could not stay there. We were threatened with death and I was afraid for my children. The situation was not safe and everything was more or less controlled by the militias.”
Umm Fares, a refugee from the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, accused the warring parties in her country for forcing her to leave with her children and bringing instability to Yemen: “There is no security in Yemen at all. There were problems, war, and protests, even school children were forced to take part in protests. So we left for fear of our children’s future.”
Syrians form the largest proportion of refugees in Jordan as around 600,000 Syrian refugees are officially registered in the country, according to UNHCR. The war in some parts of Syria has stabilised over the past year, leading to some Syrians in Jordan returning to their country.
Iraqi refugees in Jordan make up around 70,000 individuals, Yemenis constitute 14,000, while the Sudanese and Somalis constitute 6,000 and 800 respectively.