THE SYRIAN REFUGEE CRISIS: OBSTACLES TO HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
On February 16th, two members of the Refugee Utility Project team left Jordan to hold a guest lecture at the prestigious University of Cambridge. The presentation was titled 'The Syrian Refugee Crisis: Obstacles to Humanitarian Assistance' and detailed the challenges faced by humanitarian organizations in the Middle East, as well as how we are working to solve them.
Read the University article here: https://www.varsity.co.uk/news/12307
In the presentation, co-founder Scott Mehan and Head of Communications Emma Tveit highlighted what we see are the biggest challenges to effective aid work with Syrian refugees. The vast majority of refugees in Jordan live outside the major refugee camps, which means that they are harder to locate and face a very different set of challenges than refugees living in camps. Many refugees cite that lack of rights to work, education, and healthcare are the most significant obstacles they face in order to lead dignified lives.
The public services in Jordan are under significant strain due to the influx of refugees, and so many turn to illegal work and child labor, which means many children go without education.
We have found that in order to reach refugees outside camps, it is important to have a network of local leaders and volunteers. Only through local citizens and refugees can we ever hope to create sustainable solutions. That is why at RUP, we almost exclusively work with people either from the regions we work in, or refugees living in these host communities. In 2017, we hope to establish a community centre in Zarqa city to increase social cohesion to combat the increasing tensions between host communities and refugees.
Read more about our plans here.
We'd like to thank the University of Cambridge's Save the Children Society and especially Sneha Barai for the invitation to be part of their excellent lecture series on the Syrian refugee crisis.