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Jordan Migrants

I am a student, an intern, and a member of the International Model United Nations.This requires me to do a lot of research on the countries



GDP (PPP) per capita (2016)USD 9065.3

Population (est. July 2018)


Projected population (2050)


Population density per km2 (2016)


Population Growth Rate



30% of the total mass

30% of Jordan's total population is consisted with migrant people. Climate change is a big factor to produce these migrants.

Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and its impacts are unevenly weighted against the world’s most vulnerable people. Displaced and stateless people are among those in greatest need of protection. Under rapid global warming, extreme weather – heavy rainfall, drought, heatwaves, tropical storms – are becoming more unpredictable, intense, and frequent, and increasing the risk of further rapid- and slow-onset hazards including floods, landslides, erosion, wildfires, and desertification. At the same time, sea-level rise is bringing increased coastal flooding, erosion, soil salinization, and the threat of permanent inundation in low-lying areas (‘Climate change is the defining crisis of our time and it particularly impacts the displaced’ by Tim Gaynor, 2020). Climate change, refugees worsen Jordan's water woes: scientists. TORONTO (Thomson Reuters Foundation)


Though Jordan is classified as a country of an "upper middle income" economy, it never failed to show humanity and always welcomed the refugees from different countries to save their valuable lives. The 2015 Jordanian census recorded that there were 1,265,000 Syrians, 636,270 Egyptians, 634,182 Palestinians, 130,911 Iraqis, 31,163 Yemenis, 22,700 Libyans, and 197,385 from other nationalities residing in the country. It is one of the driest countries in the world. Water scarcity impacts every aspect of Jordanian life and is its greatest challenge to economic growth and development. The demand for water and energy by a large number of refugees is an important element in current and future water scarcity and energy concerns. Climate change will act as a threat multiplier aggravating already existing water problems by decreasing water availability and putting further pressure on groundwater aquifers where recharge rates have already been exceeded. The combined effects of climate change and population growth (including migration) are anticipated to put more pressure on limited land and water resources and to increase the challenge of sustainable development in Jordan.


The effects of climate change on Jordan are too many to describe. Some of them are-

The water sector will be the most heavily affected by climate change with anticipated consequences including:

  • reduced water availability
  • less reliable seasonal rainfall
  • increased intensity of droughts during which reservoirs are not refilled, groundwater is not recharged, and rain-fed agriculture suffers damages
  • increased intensity of flood events during which water and other infrastructure experience overflows and damages,
  • higher irrigation water demand because of higher evaporation due to increased temperature.

The agricultural sector will also be highly affected by the serious impacts of climate change-

  • •The dominance of arid conditions and irregular rainfall distribution are the main limiting factors affecting agricultural production.
  • •The anticipated impact of climate change on agriculture include crop loss or crop failure as a result of less rainfall; increased water demand of crops in response to rising temperatures but reduced water available for irrigation; shortened growing season; desertification and degradation of arable land. Wheat and barley, the primary staple crops in Jordan, are especially susceptible to changing climate patterns
  • •The impact of climate change on livestock is related to the decline of water and food resources due to recurrent droughts, degradation of rangelands, and desertification. Cattle are the most affected by climate change followed by goats and sheep. Livestock comprises 58% of agricultural GDP revenue, is the second-largest export by both volume and value, and provides food and income for more than 250,000 Jordanians


And to add to the miseries the population is growing more than ever and it is a point to be noted that almost 30% of Jordan’s total mass consists of refugees. The consequences are-

  • •Population growth is driven by large inflows of refugees from the Palestinian Territories, Iraq, and Syria which puts even greater pressure on food, water resources, energy, infrastructure, and social service.
  • Jordan is already one of the most water-constrained countries in the world. Water availability levels are already at less than 100 m3 per person/year, which is far below the standard water poverty threshold of 500 m3per capita per year and will continue to decrease further with population growth (including the arrival of refugees) and climate change.
  • Only 10 percent of the land, predominately in the Highlands and the Jordan valley, is considered suitable for agricultural production. However, the land best suited for agriculture is also the area of rapid urbanization due to population growth, in-migration from rural areas, and international population flow. This competition over land use has pushed agriculture to marginal areas in the Badia region in the east and south which currently suffer from drought and soil degradation and will be under further stress from climate change
  • Jordan has become the destination of several waves of migrants from Palestine and recently Iraq and Syria. Jordan hosts the second-highest number of refugees per 1000 in the world. Jordan anticipates refugee influxes to continue as the conflict has ‘no foreseeable solution.’ The total number of refugees in Jordan is estimated at 2.3 million persons. Most refugees registered with UNHCR live in urban areas where competition for resources and services with Jordan communities is most intense. The influx of refugees has increased the demand for energy and electricity and total residential energy consumption has risen significantly.


Jordan Govt. has taken some initiatives in this regard. The National Climate Change Policy (2013-2020), which Jordan has extended to 2030, is a key document. It provides a comprehensive overview of Jordan’s vulnerable sectors, and of proposed measures for mitigation and adaptation. Its purpose is to provide overarching guidance for the government in implementing national priorities on climate change to adapt to and mitigate GHG emissions. Subsequent strategies and plans have aligned and been consistent with its goals and proposed actions (Eco-Peace, 2019; MFA NL, 2018). The long-term goal of the policy is for Jordan to actively become resilient to climate risk, to have a low-carbon but a growing economy that moves towards sustainable development, “with healthy, sustainable, and resilient communities, sustainable water and agricultural resources, and thriving and productive ecosystems” (Mo.E, 2013, p.8). The national priorities and pillars of the policy emphasize adaptation to climate change as the imperative track for action, with mitigation of GHG secondary to this though it is present. The specific objectives of the policy are to build up the adaptive capacity of communities and institutions, taking into account gender and addressing the needs of vulnerable groups; increase the resilience to climate change of natural ecosystems, water, and agricultural resources; and optimize opportunities for mitigation (Mo.E, 2013, p.8). It identifies priority sectors as those which have direct links to Jordan’s main developmental challenges and the highest risks of Jordan being exposed to the effects of climate change, such as water, agriculture, energy, land use, and desertification. .Jordan has prepared climate strategies, communications to the UNFCCC, and action plans: • Initial National Communication (1999)• Second National Communication (2009)• Third National Communication (2014) • National Strategy and Action Plan to Combat Desertification (2015-2020)• National Climate Change Policy and Sector Strategic Guidance Framework (2013-2020) • Climate Change Adaptation and Low Emission Development Strategy (2013)• Water for Life: Jordan’s Water Strategy (2008-2022)• Climate Change Policy for a Resilient Water Sector (2016) • Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) 2015, submitted as its First NDC in November 2016• A National Green Growth Plan for Jordan (2017)

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  • · On the environment overall: A National Green Growth Plan for Jordan (2017), a reference guide for green policies and for green growth projects, with a cost-benefit analysis for 24 projects (EcoPeace, 2019, pp. 20–21; MoE, 2017);
  • · On climate change overall: o National Climate Change Policy and Sector Strategic Guidance Framework, 2013-2020, extended to 2030 and to be revised accordingly, as reported in Jordan’s 2016 NDC (see MoE, 2013; MFA NL, 2018, pp. 8–9); o Climate Change Adaptation and Low Emission Development Strategy (2013);
  • On desertification: o National Strategy and Action Plan to Combat Desertification, 2015-2020 (2006); o National Action Program to Combat Desertification;
  • On the water: (1) Water for Life: Jordan’s Water Strategy, 2008-2022;(2) Climate Change Policy for a Resilient Water Sector (2016).


For solving this world issue, Jordan is not the only one to take the initiative. Rather, UNHCR has also taken some measures in order to address this problem.

1. UNHCR has continued to provide protection, health, education, cash assistance for basic needs, and livelihood support among other services to refugees of all nationalities throughout the year.

2. With 83 percent of refugees living outside refugee camps in urban areas, in 2019 UNHCR Jordan continued to operate a one refugee approach in its response to refugees. Just over 40,000 refugee families of all nationalities were reached with monthly multipurpose cash assistance throughout the year, costing an average of $5.5million each month, and so far around 76,000 families have received one-off winterization cash assistance to help cover needs such as rent, heating, and warm clothes throughout the winter months.

3. Health, however, remains one of UNHCR’s most in need programs. Over 328,000 medical consultations have been provided to refugees throughout the country and over $1.3 million has been distributed under the cash for health project to refugees in need of emergency care.

4. UNHCR’s focus on improving access to higher education for refugees inside and outside of Jordan also continues with 592 refugee students currently studying at Jordanian universities under the DAFI scholarship program.

5. Over 100 home-based businesses have been registered through UNHCR’s partnership with Blumont following the decision of the Jordanian Government to allow refugees to license and operate businesses from home in late 2018.

6. Finding durable solutions for refugees has continued to be a feature of UNHCR’s approach in Jordan. UNHCR will continue to explore and expand options for complementary resettlement pathways.

7. Responding to the protection needs of refugees is a core part of UNHCR’s mandate and operation in Jordan. A community-based approach has seen 37 mobile helpdesks operate in eight different governorates in Jordan where refugees can approach UNHCR with any legal and protection issues they face outside of the main centers in Amman, Irbid, Mafraq, Zaatari, and Azraq.

8. In coordination with partners, UNHCR has provided around 75,000 legal consultations for refugees in 2019 and continues to work with Government Ministries in leading training on refugee rights and responsibilities in order to build capacity. Supporting the expansion of the National Aid Fund has also been a priority for UNHCR, to ensure that the most vulnerable families in Jordan receive the assistance they need.


1. Prioritize the integration of development and humanitarian aid. Jordan has historically viewed refugee influxes as opportunities to advance its national development. The international community must recognize this dynamic and prioritize the integration of national development aid and humanitarian aid in its response to the refugee crisis, which will benefit both host communities and refugees.

2. The international community needs to get serious when it comes to its commitments to helping countries that host refugees. With the second-highest share of refugees compared to its population in the world and struggling economic growth, the Levantine kingdom needs sustained support in order to keep up what it sees as a vital humanitarian mission.

3. The UNHCR in Jordan works with a number of partners to provide vital services and educational opportunities for the refugees from the war-torn country, and announced its funding requirements for Jordan in 2018 to be $274.9 million. By December, it had received 82 percent of that amount. The world should consider this as a serious issue and concentrate to send financial aid at least up to 90% to help vulnerable people.

Not only Jordan but also the whole world can come up with some new ideas to address this climate change issue to avoid its effects on the refugees or in other sectors.

REFUGEE TACTIC (NEW IDEA): It’s a process through which two problems can be solved- we can expect that. There are thousands and lakhs of refugees residing in various countries. Many countries give them financial aid. This whole process can be a bit modified. A worldwide program can be created where the refugees will plant trees and in return, they will get financial aid. In this way, the refugees will also get employed. This whole process will go on under the supervision of the UN. UN can organize this work by creating some NGOs. This whole idea can be discussed in the UN so that it becomes a mature idea and the World can get some advantages.


1. climate change, refugees worsen Jordan’s water worsen-jordans-water-woes-scientists-idUSKCN1BA2ER

2. Climate change profile- Jordan 3. Jordan's environment policy Jordan_Environme nt_Policies_and_Engagemt.pdf

  1. Refugee law and policy Jordan Constitution%20 provides%20protection,Refugees%20or%20 its%201967%20 Protocol.

  2. Jordan’s refugee crisis research by Alexandra Francis (a junior fellow in the Carnegie Endowment for

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Zarin Tanjim Ontor

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