We’ve Taken the Bait; Threats Will Not DO!

By: Fahed Khitan

تم نشره في Wed 25 May / May 2016. 09:43 PM
  • Fahed Khitan

In warning tone, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Emad Fakhouri, addressed the participants in the World Humanitarian Summed in Istanbul, saying Jordan’s commitments to obligations towards Syrian refugees should not be taken for granted, in light of the decrease of aid provisioned to Jordan, which did not amount to the minimum required level.

With respect to the specialised Minister’s statements, respective in regards to international aid for hosting refuge; I say it is too late for threats. Refugees, exceeding one million, are amongst us now, and there is an estimated future daily influx of no less than 200 refugees.

 Those, and the hundreds of thousands before them, are not expendable, even should Donors stop providing aid to Jordan. It became obligatory that we provide them classrooms, and teachers, and clinics, as well as job opportunities. Otherwise, many of them would resolve to illegitimate means to secure the necessities of their survival, and with time, they would transform into a critical demographic cluster that threats social security and stability.

Syrian refugees in Jordan are unlike those in Turkey, for instance; there, Syrians look west, embark on dangerous maritime trips to get through to a European state, while refugees here know that they are facing the final wall, with no outlets west, or open borders with other states.

In this sense, Jordan has not the ace Turkey waves every time the International Community flops in providing aid.

We, Mr Minister, as put popularly have “taken the bait”, and have only one option before us; that is to employ all available means to pave the way back home for refugees in Jordan.

International statistics indicate 42 per cent of Syrian refugees in Jordan come from the governorate of Daraa, Syria, only a few kilometres from the northern borders. Should we add to them refugees of the Damascus countryside, the rate rises above 50 per cent of total refugees in Jordan.

Security conditions in Daraa are not as bad as in other Syrian regions, like Aleppo for example, or Idlib; under Nusra control. Up until recentl, Daraa was totally stable, compared to other provinces.

Efforts need to be condensed, on our parts, as we have been doing for a long time, to restore tranquillity in Daraa, which is still reliant on international provisions, through Jordan, to suffice basic needs for basic stuff. Conditions, also, have to be factored to encourage Daraa refugees in Jordan to go back to their villages and towns, especially with the terrorist threat of ISIS receding noticeably.

The prerequisites for rural area refugees to return to their homes are not much; with the reasonable level of security and stability retained, people there can go back to their farming, and the provision of needs for dignified life.

Should we succeed in drawing a year-long plan, for example, for the return as many of the Daraa refugees here to their homes as possible, we would alleviate almost half of the burdens endured by Jordan from Syrian refuge, which would enable us to aggregate resources and available aids to sufficiently meet the needs of the other half, until suitable conditions are made for their return.

Our only option is to facilitate the return of refugees. Crying on the doorsteps of Donors, and waving spoken threats, will not do; they will neither be heard, nor strike fear in the hearts of those who do hear it, of its consequence. The world knows we have nothing to do, but give into reality and take on more refugees.