Clinging to life: A Palestine Refugees from Syria in Jordan faces endless hardships

14 June 2023
Clinging to life: A Palestine Refugees from Syria in Jordan faces endless hardships

“I don’t feel alive anymore”, says Nasra Sulaiman Ali Saffuri, a 60-year-old Palestine Refugee who fled to Jordan from Syria with her family in 2014.   

For three years we were trapped in our house near Yarmouk Camp in Syria,” she recalls, breaking in tears. “We lived in fear and hunger.  I lost two of my sons and a daughter with her entire family. It was a nightmare that I still didn’t wake up from.”  Nasra searched for her missing family members, but all efforts were in vain.  “It’s been nine years now; I think they’re all dead.” 

Following her devastating experience in Syria, Nasra chose to flee to safety.  “I was terrified to lose the rest of my family, so I decided to escape to Jordan. It took us 16 hours to arrive in Baqa’a camp,” she recalls sitting in a small, unventilated room. Fortunately, Nasra’s eldest son lived in Jordan with his family, so the family had a place to go to.  

In Jordan, their string of bad luck and strategy did not end. Nasra’s husband died in a car accident in Jordan shortly after joining them.  

But for Nasra, now a widow suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure and mobility issues, there is no time to grieve. She continues to take care of her family, which now consists of 11 members, including her daughter-in-law Amani Burgul (40),whose husband was lost in Syria, and her three daughters, and her divorced son and his children.  

There are days when we don’t have enough bread to feed 11 people or to buy other essentials. Our living conditions are extremely harsh,” Nasra sighed. 

She and her family rely on UNRWA cash assistance, though it is still not enough to cover basic needs.  “I spend the cash within days because I need to pay JD 110 in monthly rent for our house and make downpayments on our electricity bill. This has now accumulated to JD 415! I’m worried that our power will be cut soon,” she said.  

Amani echoes Nasra’s words, “We suffer every day.  We are barely able to secure fuel to keep warm in winter or to buy a gas cylinder to cook and feed these young children. What can we do?” 

“All I dream of is to see my family safe and in good health,” says Nasra.  

Like Nasra and her family, eighty per cent of PRS households in Jordan rely on UNRWA cash assistance as main source of income. They are among the over 20,000 PRS who receive unconditional cash assistance from UNRWA.   

UNRWA is committed to continue providing humanitarian assistance to PRS in Jordan as this critical support provides a lifeline and aims to contribute to long-term development and stability.