WFP increases aid to Syrian refugees in Jordan

By Mohammed Ghazal in Amman

A Syrian woman purchases groceries at Jordan's Azraq refugee camp. [Photo courtesy of UN-Jordan]

A Syrian woman purchases groceries at Jordan's Azraq refugee camp. [Photo courtesy of UN-Jordan]

The World Food Programme (WFP) recently increased the amount of financial assistance it provides to Syrian refugees in Jordan to offset a government sales tax hike and the removal of a bread subsidy.

"Increasing the aid to Syrian refugees came after a study on the extent to which they were affected by the recent government decision," said WFP donor and private sector relations/communications officer Faten Hindi.

The increase, which went into effect in April, aims to alleviate pressure on "refugees living outside the camps, as they constitute the vast majority of Syrian refugees in Jordan", she told Al-Mashareq.

"Every Syrian refugee classified as vulnerable will receive 15 Jordanian dinars ($21) per month allocated for the purchase of food," Hindi said, with refugees classified as most vulnerable receiving 23 dinars ($32) per month.

About 400,000 Syrian refugees will benefit from this aid, she said, adding that a study will be conducted on increasing aid to Syrian refugees living in the camps.

Rise in price of bread

Earlier this year, the Jordanian government lifted a subsidy on bread, which led to a 60% rise in the price, economist Hossam Ayesh told Al-Mashareq.

"Citizens who work and have jobs felt the pressure after the recent increases and increase in the sales taxes," he said.

The increase in food aid will help Syrian refugees and ease the pressure on Jordan, which is hosting roughly 1.3 million Syrian refugees, he added.

Last year, he noted, Jordan received less than 70% of what it requires to support the Syrian refugees.

"Although the increase [in aid] is modest, it is necessary to help the refugees bear the economic burden caused by the increase in the prices of basic commodities," Ayesh said.

Any additional aid will be spent in local markets on food purchases, and this will in turn help stimulate the economy, he added.

Many refugees rely on aid

"The increase in aid is an important and humanitarian [step], especially as many refugees do not work and rely mainly on aid," said Shakir al-Taweel, a refugee from the Syrian city of Homs who lives in Amman with his family.

"I work at a restaurant in the Jabal al-Hussein area and earn 200 dinars ($282) a month," he told Al-Mashareq, noting that he struggles to buy food for his children.

Prices in Jordan are "very high, and we are beginning to feel the pinch of the increase in the prices of bread, vegetables and many food items", he said.

The government imposed a 10% sales tax on produce this year, along with other tax increases, as directed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

These measures aim to gradually reduce the kingdom's public debt and restore momentum to the economy, which has been hit hard by regional conflicts and by the closure of the borders with Syria and Iraq.

Do you like this article?

7 Comment(s)

Comment Policy * Denotes Required Field 1500 / 1500

Assistance delivered to Syrian refugees in Jordan can hardly cover four days given the standard of living in that country. Refugees have no jobs, and have to pay for rent, water and electricity. International organisations which assist Syrians think that 75 dinars are enough to provide for a Syrian baby. A baby drinks S26 milk, and a pack of milk, which is enough for just 3 days, is 5 dinars. A baby who is between 1 and 3 months old needs about 8 packs a month. They cost 40 dinars. How much, then, is left for clothes, transportation to hospitals dedicated for Syrians by the Commission? Thanks a lot. Please reconsider and redo your information on Syrian families. There are Syrian families who are begging and living on alms. There are others who are hungry but just hang around waiting for help from God. In spite of debts, they’re being exploited at work and because of the debts they receive from others to afford food and meet the needs of their children so they can live dignified. Please accept my offer for discussion. Greetings and respects to every Syrian refugee.


Hope the officials will increase our coupons because our situation is very tough. Please also raise the value because there are high prices and high rent. I’m visually impaired and can’t work. We are a family of five, and I have to take debts. Please help us. Thank you for reviewing this because 15 dinars aren’t enough for a sick child. How much will his food and clothes cost?! Thanks for taking this seriously.


Thank you for increasing the food coupon. In my name, I thank you all!


I'm not receiving anything of that assistance although I need it a lot. I have two children and I work for 11 hours a day for 300 dinars. With this high prices, I cannot manage.


My situation is bad. I have two children. Please help me.


May God bless you! Please ask the food programme why they don’t give anything to some Syrians although they have more needs than others. Why don’t they re-assess their situation? Thanks!


15 isn’t enough to afford sugar and oil, and how about the rest? They don’t suffice at all. What can they do if [prices] increase? The support is too little. I used to receive [Illegible], but they cancelled it. I’m a woman without any support. The Commission shouldn’t do this. The eye print helped me a little. What can I do? This shouldn’t be the case. How can we pay for electricity, water, and rent? This is a very tough situation. God suffices me and He is the best disposer of affairs! I have been registered with all associations, but to no avail. I got registered with CARE and the Italian Association. Whenever they talk about an association, I go and get registered. I left none. If they can get me back the eye print, I’d appreciate it a lot. Ramadan is approaching, but there are no foods or drinks, and whoever has children, may God help them! I wish the CARE and the Italian Association will donate and help me. I’m your sister in Islam. I ask His Majesty the King to help me and I’d appreciate it a lot. I need help. You have to help me. I pray to God and ask His Majesty the King to give me the eye print. I used to depend on it, although the help was mediocre. I need a lot of help. CARE does give, but I receive nothing. The Italian Association also gives, but I receive nothing. They talk to all, but didn’t talk to me. What can I do? Should I beg? God didn’t order this! I hope all, including the World Food Programme, will help me. They give us 1,5