Municipal Needs Assessment Report
The conflict in Syria resulted in massive refugee crisis to neighboring countries, including Jordan. Jordan kept an open border policy, resulting in receiving a huge influx of refugees, posing enormous challenges to the country, with strong implications on the socio-economic situation in general and on municipal service delivery in particular. The spillover effects of the Syrian refugee crisis are taking a heavy toll on Jordanians, especially on the most vulnerable segments of the population in the northern part of the country, where over 600,000 Syrian refugees currently reside, swelling its total population by 11%. This crisis is exacerbating existing vulnerabilities in Jordanian communities.
The majority of Syrian refugees in Jordan settled in cities, towns, and villages in the northern governorates outside the refugee camps. As a result, one preoccupying challenge to the municipalities was, and continues to be, providing adequate support for host communities whose services, resources, and infrastructure have been strained by the sudden and enormous influx of the refugees, with sometimes destabilizing effects on their own livelihoods and natural environments.
Municipal needs are huge: solid waste management, cash assistance/budget support, water and sanitation, social services support, energy resources, etc. Host communities have often demonstrated enormous generosity for new arrivals, welcoming them into their homes, sharing scarce resources and accepting their rights and dire need to access health and education services within the community. However, as the crisis has dragged on, the stress on local communities is becoming unbearable.
Realising the formidable suffering of the need to support host communities, UNDP focused, since the beginning of the crisis, on supporting these communities respond, cope and sustain their living conditions. UNDP undertook an advocacy campaign to shed light on the suffering of the host communities, and the need to preserve hard-won human development gains. UNDP aimed through this study at establishing the necessary baselines at the municipal level to examine the impact of the refugee crisis on host communities in Irbid and Mafraq. The assessment was undertaken through a survey and focus group meetings covering the 36 municipalities in the two governorates, and will form the basis for many interventions to be implemented in the two governorates.