The Humanitarian Situation in Jordan

Since the start of Syria’s decade-long conflict, over one million Syrians have fled into Jordan and now constitute nearly 10 percent of the country’s population. UNHCR has registered 663,507 refugees, with 535,844 (81 percent) in host communities and the remaining 127,663 (19 percent) in camps. Jordan’s estimated average annual cost of hosting Syrian refugees is US$ 1.5 billion, including humanitarian and cash assistance, subsidized education and health services, as well as indirect costs associated with pressure on electrical, water and sanitation and transport systems.

The conflict has also forced over 120,000 Palestine Refugees from Syria (PRS) to flee the country in search for safety and protection elsewhere, in particular in Lebanon and Jordan. As of December 2019, the number of PRS in Jordan reported by UNRWA remained relatively stable at 17,349 PRS (5,355 women, 4,518 men, 7,476 children, including 295 persons with disabilities).

Jordan also hosts another 90,000 refugees mainly from Iraq (67,188), Somalia (744), Sudan (6,096). Like Syrian and Palestinian refugees, most live in urban areas, adding pressures to the country’s economy, infrastructure, health and education systems. With the convergence of various refugee groups and the associated pressure on scarce natural resources and basic services, risks of social conflicts also increase.

The Jordanian Humanitarian Fund

The Jordan Humanitarian Fund (JHF) is a multi-donor Fund that was established in July 2014 to support a swift response to humanitarian needs in Jordan through flexible and coordinated funding. The Jordan Humanitarian Fund (JHF), which was established in July 2014, is a viable humanitarian financing tool supported by a solid governance structure and accountability framework. The main objective of the JHF is to provide flexible and timely funding to address priority humanitarian needs of Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities in Jordan.

The objective of the JHF is to enable the effective delivery of humanitarian assistance by providing humanitarian partners with rapid, timely, and flexible funding to respond to the current humanitarian situation affecting Jordan.

The JHF reinforces the leadership and coordination role of the Humanitarian Coordinator (HC) by directing funding to needs-based priority sectors and geographic areas. The JHF also aims for a more inclusive approach by working with a variety of humanitarian partners. The Jordan Humanitarian Fund (JHF) aims to support the delivery of humanitarian assistance in Jordan through flexible and coordinated funding. The Fund operates within the frame of the Jordan Response Plan and aims to provide flexible and timely funding to partners to respond to urgent humanitarian needs, fill critical gaps, and strengthen partnership by building the capacity of national NGOs to enables them from accessing the fund and expanding the humanitarian outreach to a wider spectrum of beneficiaries.

The HC is responsible for the management of the JHF and is accountable for the Fund.

In this function the HC is supported by an Advisory Board (AB) comprising representatives of UN agencies, donors, and national and international NGOs, providing strategic direction and advice on the operations and utilization of the Fund. The HC, supported by the AB, determines allocations to prioritized activities and sectors. The AB has oversight of the Fund and ensures that decisions reflect the views across the humanitarian community.

The OCHA Humanitarian Financing Unit (HFU) acts as the Fund’s secretariat, manages the grant allocation cycles and provides technical support to the HC. Sector leads and members feed into the prioritization process by identifying priority needs and target sectors. 

What does the JHF fund?

The JHF funds activities prioritized by the different sectors and the Inter-Sector Working Group (ISWG) in Jordan for being the most urgent and strategic interventions that address critical humanitarian needs and gaps. Funding is directed towards priority humanitarian needs, identified through inclusive and participatory processes. One of the areas of focus for the JHF, is supporting women and girls through funding projects that contributes to gender equality,GBV ,women protection and assistance for survivors of Gender Based violence. To ensure that the specific needs and rights of crisis-affected women and girls are met, and to achieve effective humanitarian outcomes, it is essential that we have a focus in our allocations on women and girls.

The JHF promotes gender mainstreaming and gender equality across all projects. the JHF has worked to ensure that the needs of women and girls are addressed, including by ensuring appropriate consultation and access to opportunities as well as recognizing their capacities, rights and obligations. The JHF funding is primarily aligned to support the delivery of strategic humanitarian response identified under the Jordan Response Plan.

Donor Contributions

In 2020, donors generously contributed $10.1 million to the JHF. The United Kingdom returned to the JHF’s donor group with a contribution of $2.5 million. This funding was used to launch the first Standard Allocation. This was topped up by a $2.2 million contribution from Germany, which later pledged an additional 1.14 million.

Sweden provided $1.6 million, which enabled the JHF to fund four emergency response projects from the reserve window. Italy contributed $0.9 towards the end of the year, while Cyprus and Canada were welcomed as first-time donors to the JHF with contributions of $12,500 and $0.73 million respectively.

Since the inception of the JHF in 2014, donors have contributed US $59.4 million. Contributions decreased from US $10.4 million in 2018 to US $5.5 million in 2019 but rose significantly in 2020 with new donors coming on board.

The United Kingdom, which had supported the Fund in 2016 and 2017 returned in 2020.

Germany, Italy and Sweden, long-term donors to the Fund, continued their commitment in 2020. Qatar, Canada, and Cyprus were the new donors to the JHF in 2020. Long-time contributors, Belgium and Ireland, withdrew from the donor group.

The JHF can allocate funding through two modalities:

  1. A standard allocation (through a call for proposals), which is issued twice a year, usually in March and August. It is aligned with the priorities of the sector working groups, which form technical review committees to review and recommend projects for funding.
  2. A reserve allocation (as a certain percentage of the fund), which allows partners to rapidly respond to unforeseen emerging humanitarian needs. It is called at the discretion of the HC in consultation with the sectors.

NGOs applying for funding must be active members of sector working groups and they must participate in a capacity-assessment process. In this assessment, partners’ institutional, technical, management and financial capacities are systematically and transparently reviewed. They determine the appropriate operational modalities for the administration of funding contracts.

Sources

ReliefWeb. (2020, July 26). Jordan Response Plan for the Syria Crisis 2020–2022 - Jordan. https://reliefweb.int/report/jordan/jordan-response-plan-syria-crisis-2020-2022

UNOCHA. (2020, February 6). About the JHF. OCHA. https://www.unocha.org/jordan/about-jhf

NO Comment 25th July 2021

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