The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, says large numbers of Syrian refugees are sliding into abject poverty, and at an alarming rate, due to the magnitude of the crisis and insufficient support from the international community. He made the statement at the launch of a new UNHCR study, “Living in the Shadows,” which reveals evidence of a deepening humanitarian crisis.
Conducted by UNHCR and its partner, International Relief and Development (IRD), the study is based on data from home visits with almost 150,000 Syrian refugees living outside of camps in Jordan in 2014. According to the study, two-thirds of refugees across Jordan are now living below the national poverty line, and one in six Syrian refugee households lives in abject poverty, with less than $40 per person per month to make ends meet. Almost half of the households researchers visited had no heating, a quarter had unreliable electricity, and 20 per cent had no functioning toilet.
“Unless the international community increases its support to refugees, families will opt for ever more drastic coping strategies,” Mr. Guterres said. “More children will drop out of school to work and more women will be at risk of exploitation, including survival sex.”
More information about the report can be found here.