Zarqa Camp

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.


We provide services in 10 Palestine refugee camps in Jordan. UNRWA does not administer or police the camps, as this is the responsibility of the host authorities.