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The ICRC in Jordan

20-05-2014 Overview

The ICRC has had a permanent presence in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. Its main activities consist of visiting detainees to monitor their treatment and conditions of detention, helping civilians and foreign detainees restore contact with their families, and promoting international humanitarian law (IHL) throughout Jordanian society in close cooperation with the Jordan Red Crescent Society (JRCS). Since the onset of the Syrian crisis in 2011, the ICRC delegation in Jordan has significantly scaled up its humanitarian activities to support Syrian refugees fleeing the armed conflict in their country. The ICRC in Jordan also provides logistical support to ICRC relief operations in the region and beyond.

Visiting detainees

Since 1979, the ICRC in Jordan has been carrying out regular visits to individuals held in correctional and rehabilitation centres, as well as the detention facility of the General Intelligence Department. During the visits, the ICRC monitors the conditions of detention and the treatment of detainees. It ensures that the detainees' basic needs are taken care of and that they are treated humanely, in accordance with international standards. The ICRC discusses confidentially its observations and recommendations with the detaining authorities.

Restoring family links

In times of armed violence, the chances that family members will lose track of one another increase substantially. The ICRC therefore helps civilians, including refugees and foreign detainees, restore or maintain contact with members of their families in the following ways:
 carrying news between detainees and their families, and notifying diplomatic missions when any of their nationals have been detained;
 registering and attempting to trace the whereabouts of people reported missing as a result of armed conflict;
 reuniting family members whenever possible;
 issuing travel documents to refugees granted resettlement in third countries;
 helping Syrian refugees in the Zaatari camp in the northern governorate of Mafraq maintain contact with relatives inside Syria and elsewhere through international telephone calls available free of charge.

Distributing food and other essential items

In order to respond to the urgent needs of refugees arriving in Jordan and to ease the burden on local communities, the ICRC in 2013 provided food and hygiene parcels to around 100,000 Syrian refugees living in local communities in northern Jordan. In cooperation with the JRCS, it also launched a cash assistance programme for Syrians living outside camps. The ICRC so far has provided more than 78,000 Syrian refugees who have crossed the border into eastern Jordan with blankets, mattresses, pillows, children’s clothing, emergency biscuits and hygiene items; and, in partnership with a local charity, it has supplied around 68,000 cooked meals for refugees in the same part of the country.

Providing clean water and upgrading water and sanitation works

To help the Jordan Armed Forces cope with the growing influx of Syrian refugees across Jordan’s central and eastern borders, the ICRC has equipped four reception points and two collection points in the border areas so that 1,200 refugees per day can be hosted adequately. The ICRC has provided caravans, 45m2 dispensary tents, sanitation facilities (toilets and showers), drinking water dispensers, water tanks, washbasins, diesel generators, solar water heaters and solid-waste containers. The ICRC has also provided the Raba’a Al Sarhan registration facility in Mafraq governorate with sanitation facilities, drinking water dispensers, water tanks and solid-waste containers.

Delivering health care to the wounded

To provide primary medical care to Syrian refugees upon their arrival at the border, the ICRC has set up two fully-equipped prefabricated health clinics at Bustana collection point and Rukban reception point on Jordan’s eastern border. It has also provided the Jordanian Royal Medical Services with wound-dressing materials and other basic medical supplies, mainly for the health clinics on Jordan’s eastern border. In addition, the ICRC has provided Rwayshid Government Hospital in eastern Jordan with basic medical supplies to enable it to meet the increasing primary health needs of Syrian refugees entering the country.

Promoting IHL

The ICRC works closely with the National Committee for the Implementation of International Humanitarian Law so that universities, national authorities, armed and security forces, the media, and civil society institutions understand and respect IHL. Moreover, for some time the ICRC and the National Committee for Demining and Rehabilitation have worked together in various mine action activities. The ICRC also continues to cooperate with the Jordan Armed Forces, the Gendarmerie Forces and the Public Security Directorate to raise awareness of IHL rules.

Working in cooperation with the JRCS

The ICRC provides the JRCS with financial, technical, logistical and material support to enable it to respond to the humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan. The ICRC has boosted the capacities of the JRCS in emergency response, including first aid, restoring family links and disseminating humanitarian principles.

Providing regional logistical support

The ICRC in Jordan is a logistical and administrative hub for ICRC operations mainly in Syria, Lebanon and Yemen. The delegation also provides ongoing logistical support for operations in Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territories. Moreover, the ICRC in Jordan has supported operations in Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Niger, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea and Mali.



Syrian refugees at a border transit facility.
/ CC BY-NC-ND / ICRC / Z. Arabyat

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