In Jordan, there are nearly 680 thousand Syrian refugees who fled the war in their country since 2011, registered at the UNHCR. Added the 700 thousand Syrians who came to Jordan right before the armed dispute broke out, and it the result is 1.3 million Syrians, hosted in Jordan.
The point of this is to showcase Jordan’s dedication to supporting our Syrian brethren, not to mention our soldiers who stood guard day and night for the relief and rescue of our brothers.
Everything we’ve done and the world has yet to see it.
That is why support has not come close to its pledged amounts. At best, Jordan has received nearly one third of the required funding.
Officially, the costs of hosting the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan is estimated at over USD10 billion, some JOD7 billion.
That is a lot for a country undergoing an unprecedented financial crisis.
Those USD10 billion include costs incurred by the education, health, water, power, and various other services and infrastructural facilities, including the indirect costs for municipal services, illegal labour, security costs, strains on transportation, and subsidies.
As for the direct costs of hosting Syrian refugees for the current year, it is estimated at around USD1.7 billion, according to the official estimates.
Instead of showing some appreciation for everything Jordan put up with, from the crisis itself to the world falling short on their pledges, there are those who denies these efforts. Their whole argument is based on Jordan’s inability to receive the IDPs of Rukban, who are technically on Syrian turf.
Has the world forgotten what the Jordanians went through when a group of terrorists orchestrated an attack against the army’s post there? The lives of brave Jordanians soldiers that we lost?
It was after the terrorist attack that the Jordanian command announced Rukban a closed military zone, after ISIS claimed responsibility for attack on June 21st, 2016.
Seven brave soldiers we lost that day, and 13 were injured by the blasts.
Since then, the world has stood by doing nothing about the Syrians in Rukban, turning away from their responsibility towards the Camp and its residents.
The entire International Community has been trying to throw the weight of the Rukban Camp on Jordan’s own shoulders, instead of taking responsibility.
It is much easier to blame others; Jordan in this case, than to do right by our humanity and the Syrians in Rukban.
Jordan cannot carry out this massive humanitarian task on its own, but the rest of the world can though, through the multitude of NGOs and specialised international organisations they have operating around the world.
Instead, their employees would rather operate from an air-conditioned office in Amman, with the privileges and comforts facilitated by these NGOs, as opposed to working in the field.
The government’s stand on this is clear.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ayman Safadi, clearly stated that the IDPs in Rukban are Syrians on Syrian turf, which makes addressing their situation a Syrian-international priority.
It is not Jordan’s responsibility to address the Rukban situation.
Jordan, after everything we’ve done, cannot give more at this point, this much is clear.
The economic crisis is suffocating, and there nothing much we can do.
More so, in light of recent changes in the Syrian situation, the Rukban case without dispute becomes a Syrian question.
International organisations and donor states concerned with the Camp’s situation should coordinate for the delivery of humanitarian aid via the Syrian government.
Jordan, is out, and let us be clear about it; the Kingdom did not abandon its humanitarian role in the Rukban situation.
The fact is that Jordan has not a single thing more to offer, with everything going on domestically to add to the whole turmoil.
Therefore, the rest of the “moral” world and the self-righteous lot of NGOs who dare accuse us of abandoning the Camp should step in and finish what we have begun.
We are not the sole responsible party for the situation in Rukban, in fact, we are not even the primary bearers of this responsibility, politically and morally.
Every single humanitarian and political body in the world is responsible.
In fact too, it wasn’t us who turned our back, when all the rest of the world did. We stood our ground and did everything we could.
For the record, we’ve done our part, now you do yours, instead of bashing us from your fragile moral high ground for all the sacrifices we made.
This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.