GI 1 - SUPPORT FOR KARAK HOSPITAL
Almost 12 years after the end of the Syrian war, the situation is still an emergency and the number of refugees remains unchanged. According to official data from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Jordan still hosts more than 650,000 registered refugees, not counting those who are not. Among refugees in Jordan, only 19% reside in official refugee camps. The remaining 81% live instead in urban areas and a good number have settled here in the South in the Karak Province.
Most of them live within the so-called Jordanian host communities. They represent a particularly fragile part of the population, which lives mostly in humanitarian assistance, just think that only 31% of Syrians and 26% of non-Syrians are employed in the labor market. Although the Jordanian Government has always supported a policy of opening up the borders to refugees, internal tensions and clashes between the Jordanian population and the welcomed population have increased.
Tensions that have increased in the last period with the pandemic when the unemployment rate has risen dramatically and the Jordanian economy, already rather fragile (the leading sector is tourism, while agriculture suffers from the endemic lack of water), has suffered a further contraction. Unemployment rose to 22.8% while youth unemployment reached an unprecedented 50%.
The access to the Jordanian health system is still complicated, particularly as regards assistance to the most vulnerable sections of the population, including migrants. Just think that 51% of Syrian refugee families and 43% of non-Syrian families do not have access to health care.
Health expenditure for refugee families accounts for over 66% of the family budget, and is also a source of debt (for example, 27% of Syrian refugees are in debt because of this). Their situation therefore continues to be a major emergency. During this year, the post-pandemic financial crisis and the continuing refugee emergency have created further stability problems for this country that is already experiencing a situation of fragility.
Providing medical assistance to refugees has been a situation that has strongly affected us and created tension during the year. We still consider as vital and priority the possibility of continuing to keep the doors open to the most needy and excluded and in particular to refugees: is one of the reasons that mark and are part of our mission here in Jordan.
Many NGOs or charity organization since March 2020 are no longer operational and available to support the medical assistance of Syrian refugees in Jordan. Caritas Jordan has also closed its offices here at Karak and consequently there is no alternative for refugees located in the South than to come to our hospital.
The hospital in Karak run by the Comboni Sisters continues to keep its doors open to refugees. However, we alone cannot provide medicines and medical care for all those who come knocking on our door. The people live in a dramatic situation of great emergency and precariousness; many leave camps and come to the cities where they find accommodation. A three-room apartment can accommodate even three families with no less than 6-8 members each (children are always many).
We cater mainly to women, children and patients in need of special emergency care. Pregnant women who very often did not have any prenatal care. Here also come to many children, especially very small children who because of the discomfort, the heat in summer and the cold in the winter months as well as the lack of health opportunities, have several problems (respiratory, gastrointestinal infections, allergies, skin infections, chronic genetic disorders) that require hospitalization and treatment.
The project consists in offering this precise group of refugees medical and specialist assistance. We therefore also rely on your help to make up for some emergencies especially concerning children. Whatever your gift is, we will use it to treat mothers and children who come to us, paying for medicines, specialist examinations, medical consultations and the necessary small operations.
- To provide essential and basic care to mothers and children or other surgical emergencies to patients who come to us for emergencies
Direct: about 2,000 Syrian refugees (mostly women and children) turning to our hospital
Indirect: the families
Referent sister for the project: Sr Adele Brambilla