Where We Work

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Jordan
More than 2 million registered refugees live in Jordan.

Camp Profiles

Zarqa camp is the oldest Palestine refugee camp in Jordan, and was one of the four camps established in the country to accommodate the refugees who left Palestine as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The camp was set up near the town of Zarqa by the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1949. It originally housed 8,000 refugees in an area of 0.18 square kilometres.

Zarqa camp. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Sahem Rababa
Zarqa camp. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Sahem Rababa

UNRWA later replaced the original tents with concrete shelters and over the years the refugees have made improvements and added more rooms. The camp now resembles other urban quarters in Zarqa.

Major challenges

Poverty is one of the main challenges facing camp residents. According to a 2013 FaFo report, 19 percent of Palestine refugees living in Zarqa camp have a monthly income that is below the national poverty line of JD814. 

According to the same report, Zarqa camp is one of two camps ranked second of the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan in terms of the prevalence of people with chronic health problems, standing at 15 percent.

In addition, 68 percent of Palestine refugees in Zarqa camp don’t have health insurance.

Talbieh camp was one of six "emergency" camps set up in 1968 for 5,000 Palestine refugees and displaced persons who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

Unlike the other camps in Jordan, Talbieh's inhabitants were mainly displaced persons, not refugees. Also, residents are mostly Bedouin.

The Talbieh Elementary/Preparatory Boys’ school in Talbieh camp. © 2008 UNRWA Photo by Nidal Ammouri
The Talbieh Elementary/Preparatory Boys’ school in Talbieh camp. © 2008 UNRWA Photo by Nidal Ammouri

Talbieh was set up on an area of about 0.13 square kilometres, 35km south of Amman. It is the largest camp in terms of state land.

Tents were donated by the Iranian Red Lion and Sun Society, who later replaced them with concrete shelters.

Talbieh camp is the smallest of the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan in terms of camp population. 8,000 registered Palestine refugees live in the camp. 

Major challenges

Many shelters are in a bad state of repair with zinc or asbestos sheet roofs, structural problems, and poor natural light and ventilation. 

According a 2013 FaFo report, around 28 percent of Palestine refugees in Talbieh camp have an income below the national poverty line of JD 814 and 37 percent don’t have any health insurance.

Marka camp, referred to by the government as Hitten, was established in 1968 on an area of 0.92 square kilometres, 10km northeast of Amman.

The camp is known locally as Schneller after the German rehabilitation centre established in the area before the camp was set up.

Marka camp. © 2013 UNRWA Photo by Hannington Muyenje
Marka camp. © 2013 UNRWA Photo by Hannington Muyenje

Many camp residents originally came from the Gaza Strip.

UNRWA installations in the camp also provide services for the refugees in the camp's surroundings.

Souf camp was one of the six "emergency" camps set up for Palestine refugees and displaced people who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The camp covers an area of 0.5 square kilometres and is near the famous Roman ruins of Jerash, 50km north of Amman.

Souf camp. © 2008 UNRWA Photo by Nidal Ammouri
Souf camp. © 2008 UNRWA Photo by Nidal Ammouri

The camp was abandoned in October 1967 because of the harsh weather conditions and heavy rainfall, and its inhabitants were accommodated in a tented camp in the Jordan valley. This temporary camp was abandoned in 1968 after an escalation in military operations in the area, and the refugees and displaced persons returned to Souf.

UNRWA's plans for providing more durable tents to withstand the harsh winters were dropped in favour of constructing 1,650 prefabricated shelters.

Major challenges

According a FaFo report published in 2013, Souf camp is ranked second of the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan when it comes to household size, with the average household size standing at 5.3. But the camp is ranked eighth in terms of poverty rates, with 23.1 percent of Palestine refugees living in the camp having an income below the national poverty line of JD 814.

Souf camp ranked second in unemployment, with 17 percent of camp residents unemployed. It also ranked second in female unemployment, standing at 24 percent. 

Suf camp has the lowest incidence of severe chronic health problems, standing at 3 percent. But 27 percent of Palestine refugees living in the camp don’t have health insurance.

Jerash camp was set up as an "emergency" camp in 1968 for 11,500 Palestine refugees and displaced persons who left the Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. It is known locally as Gaza camp.

The camp covers an area of 0.75 square kilometres and is situated 5km from the famous Roman ruins of Jerash. After 1967 UNRWA quickly set up facilities for food aid, sanitation, health services and education.

Jerash camp. © 2013 UNRWA Photo by Ahmad Abu Sitteh
Jerash camp. © 2013 UNRWA Photo by Ahmad Abu Sitteh

In order to withstand the harsh winters, the original 1,500 tents were replaced with prefabricated shelters.

Between 1968 and 1971, 2,000 shelters were built with support from emergency donations. Over the years, many of the camp’s inhabitants have replaced the prefabs with more durable concrete shelters. Many roofs are still made of corrugated zinc and asbestos sheets, which can cause diseases such as cancer.

Major challenges

According to a FaFo report published in 2013, Jerash camp is the poorest among the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, with 52.7 percent of Palestine refugees having an income below the national poverty line of JD 814. 

Jerash camp also has the highest number of Palestine refugees who don’t have health insurance, with 88 percent of refugees not covered by any health insurance.

Jabal el-Hussein camp is one of four camps established in Jordan after 1948 to accommodate refugees who left Palestine as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The camp was set up in 1952 for 8,000 refugees on an area of 0.42 square kilometres, northwest of Amman.

Jabal el-Hussein camp. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Sahem Rababa
Jabal el-Hussein camp. © 2015 UNRWA Photo by Sahem Rababa

The refugees replaced the original tents with more durable shelters and UNRWA provided roofing. The camp has since grown into an urban-like quarter and has become part of Amman.

As with other camps in Jordan, Jabal el-Hussein camp faces severe overcrowding. There is no space for further building.

UNRWA runs 12 installations to provide services for camp refugees.

Major challenges

About 28 percent of Palestine refugees in Hussein camp have an income below the national poverty line of JD814, according to the FaFo report of 2013.

Female unemployment in Jabel Hussein camp is lowest of the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, standing at 12 percent.

Jabel Hussein camp is one of two camps ranked second among Palestine refugee camps in the country when it came to chronic health problems, standing at 15 percent. Also, 69 percent of Palestine refugees in Jabel Hussein camp don’t have health insurance.

Irbid camp was one of four camps established in Jordan for refugees who left Palestine as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The camp was set up in 1951 on an area of 0.24 square kilometres near the town of Irbid, in northern Jordan. Originally, it housed 4,000 refugees.

Irbid camp. © 2008 UNRWA Photo by Mazen Sadieh
Irbid camp. © 2008 UNRWA Photo by Mazen Sadieh

By 1954, the camp's inhabitants started to replace the tents with mud shelters and UNRWA provided them with roofing material. Over the years the refugees have replaced these dwellings with concrete shelters and the camp now resembles some of the urban quarters in Irbid. UNRWA's installations in the camp also provide services for the refugees in the camp's surroundings.

Major challenges

According to the FaFo report of 2013, about 31 percent of Palestine refugees in Irbid camp have an income below the national poverty line of JD 814.

Among the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Irbid camp has the largest prevalence of people with a chronic health problem standing at 16 percent of the overall camp population. In addition, 44 percent of Palestine refugees in Irbid camp don’t have health insurance. 

Baqa'a camp was one of six "emergency" camps set up in 1968 to accommodate Palestine refugees and displaced people who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The camp, which is the largest in Jordan, is about 20km north of Amman.

Between June 1967 and February 1968, the refugees and displaced people were housed in temporary camps in the Jordan valley, but had to be moved when military operations escalated in the area. When Baqa'a was set up it was already a large camp, with 5,000 tents for 26,000 refugees over an area of 1.4 square kilometres.

Baqa’a camp. © 2014 URWA Photo by Jacopo Intini
Baqa’a camp. © 2014 URWA Photo by Jacopo Intini

Between 1969 and 1971, UNRWA replaced the tents with 8,000 prefabricated shelters, to protect people from the harsh winters in Jordan. Most of the camp's inhabitants have since built more durable concrete shelters.

Major challenges

Poverty and high unemployment are major challenges facing Baqa’a camp residents. The camp is ranked third of the ten camps in Jordan in poverty with 32 per cent of Palestine refugees in the camp reportedly having an income below the national poverty line of JD 814, according to a Fafo Foundation report published in 2013. 

Baqa’a camp is ranked second of the ten camps in unemployment, with 17 percent of refugees living in the cam unemployed.

Baqa’a camp has the lowest prevalence of chronic health problems of all Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, standing at percent. Still, 46 percent of Palestine refugees in the camp don’t have health insurance.

Upgrading of camp infrastructure and shelter repair and rehabilitation are also major challenges. 

Husn camp, known locally as Martyr Azmi el-Mufti camp, was one of the six "emergency" camps set up in 1968 for 12,500 Palestine refugees and displaced people who left the West Bank and Gaza Strip as a result of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

The camp is 80km north of Amman.

Husn camp. © 2008 URWA Photo by Nidal Ammouri
Husn camp. © 2008 URWA Photo by Nidal Ammouri

The inhabitants were initially accommodated in tents, in an area of 0.77 square kilometres. UNRWA originally planned to provide stronger tents to withstand the harsh winters, but between 1969 and 1971 built 2,990 prefabricated shelters instead.

Over the years, many of the refugees have replaced these with more durable structures.

Major challenges

23 percent of Palestine refugees in Husn camp have an income below the national poverty line of JD 814, according to a Fafo Foundation report published in 2013.

Unemployment is the highest of the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, with 18 percent of refugee living in the camp unemployed. Female unemployment is also the highest of the ten camps with 25 percent unemployed.

49 percent of Palestine refugees living in Husn camp don’t have health insurance. 

Amman New Camp, known locally as Wihdat, was one of four camps set up after 1948 to accommodate Palestine refugees who left Palestine as a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

The camp was established in 1955 on an area of 0.48 square kilometres, southeast of Amman.

The refugees were initially housed in 1,400 shelters constructed by UNRWA, and in 1957 the Agency built 1,260 additional shelters. Over the years the refugees added more rooms to improve their shelters and the camp has grown into an urban-like quarter surrounded by areas of high population density.

Amman New Camp. © 2018 UNRWA Photo by Nidal Ammouri
Amman New Camp. © 2008 UNRWA Photo by Nidal Ammouri

UNRWA installations in the camp also provide services for the refugees in the camp's surroundings. In addition to 13 schools and one health centre, the camp houses one community-based rehabilitation centre, one women’s programme centre, one environmental health office and one camp services office. 

Amman New Camp is very overcrowded. Kiosks and haphazard stalls add to the disorganisation on crowded streets.

Major Challenges

According to a Fafo Foundation report published in 2013, Amman New camp is ranked second of the ten camps in terms of poverty with 34 percent of Palestine refugees reportedly having an income below the national poverty line of JD 814. The camp is ranked second of the ten camps in female unemployment with standing at 24 percent. Of the ten Palestine refugee camps in Jordan, Amman New camp exhibits the highest incidence of severe chronic health problems standing at 8 percent. Moreover, 66 percent of Palestine refugees in Amman New camp don’t have health insurance.

In addition to poverty and unemployment, residents of the camp have to contend with overcrowdedness, including the absence of green areas and open play spaces. Many shelters are in a bad state of repair and need rehabilitation.

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