Name Course Instructor Date How the Syrian refugee crisis has/is affecting the Jordanian economy Syrian crisis, which has continued for almost one and a half years now, have not only seen the number of refugees increase exponentially, but has also had tremendous effects on the economies of the neighbouring countries. Jordan which is one of the neighbouring countries to Syria and which host the largest number of refugees now is greatly affected. As indicated by the UNHRC statistics (Christopher 1), the number of registered refugees stands at 180,000 in Jordan, and that number is likely to increase if the crisis does not come to an end soon.
Jordan, which is 75% desert is ranked 95th as per the Human Development Index has a low food production capacity. With only 3% of domestic food production, Jordan relies mostly on foreign food import which makes it vulnerable to international fluctuation of food prices. Jordan also has most of its population living in urban places, and since they do not have adequate energy production facilities, they rely heavily on foreign energy (MPC 1). Jordan also has a water scarcity problem which forces the municipal to supply water for only two days within a week to the people living in urban areas.
Evidently, Jordan is indeed not the best place to host such a high number of refugees as it is now. This is because it already has a constraint economy and any pressure from the increasing number of refugees will affect the economy of Jordan in varied ways (MPC 1). It is obvious that refugees flee to the host countries with little food, clothing and financial resources for sustenance. Sooner or later, they will be faced with food, shelter, clothing and social amenities shortages.
Before the refugees get support from the responsible agencies, the shortages of basic necessities have to be met in the host country through various means. The host country is left with no choice other than to accommodate the refugees with their needs according to the provisions of the United Nations (Christopher 1). The Jordan government, which falls under the developing economies, is forced to accommodate the Syrian refugees by providing the basic necessities such as food, shelter, jobs, health facilities and other necessary facilities.
This is not an easy task for the Jordan government because it is already facing 18% unemployment and any constraints on its economy will lead to further economic unemployment (Christopher 1). Lack of adequate resources within the Jordan government also presents a hard situation of balancing between the needs of the citizens and the refugees. Over the last one and half years, which Jordan have, been hosting Syrian refugees, it has had several social and economic constraints; shortage of housing, inflation, increased unemployment, and insecurity (Baker 1).
The Syrian refugees for the last one and a half years have affected the Jordan economy in a number of ways. Due to the influx of several Syrians families without official places to reside, they are often forced to think between the limited resources at their disposal and a place to call home (MPC 1). Due to need, the Syrian refugees often tend to pool resources in acquiring accommodation and residential places. This situation exerts pressure on the Jordan accommodation facilities because most of its population live in urban places.
On the other hand, demand for housing and other household effects goes up due to the need of the business people to maximize the situation of the refugees, and in the event inflation and high cost of living is culminated (Christopher 1). The Syrian refugees who fled to Jordan without enough financial resources to sustain themselves and their families as they await the UNCHR aid and from other humanitarian agencies, sooner or later run out of finances and are forced to look for employment in Jordan.
As reported by various reports on the Syrian refugees, most of the refugees who flee Syria to Jordan are not formally educated and, therefore, lack adequate skills to work in formal employment sector. Thus, Syrian refugees in Jordan are forced to work in the informal sector such as in bakeries, construction and in other informal sectors. This has serious consequences on the Jordan economy because its workforce is subjected to stiff competition and considering that it already faces unemployment rate of 18% it may lead to other unforeseen consequences such as xenophobia (UNHCR 1).
The Syrian refugees in Jordan pose serious health consequences to the Jordan civilians. Due to poor living conditions of the refugees as a result of dysfunctional government, trauma of war and exhaustion due to long distance of walking to Jordan, the refugees face a lot of health problems including both communicable and non communicable diseases. As a result, the Jordan government is forced to increase its budgetary allocation to health and disease prevention, a move which leads to financial constraints (MPC 1).
The Syrian refugees also pose serious security concerns to the Jordan government and citizens. The refugee camps as it has previously occurred in several parts of the world come about with unintended security concerns. For instance, refugee camps provides a convenient ground for terrorist and rebels to stage attacks on the Syrian refugees as well as the Jordan citizens (Mahareb 1). This is even complicated because identifying refugees is a complicated process and in some instances hard.
Since the setting of up of refugee camps along the Jordan borders for the purpose of accommodating the Syrian refugees, there has been an increased criminal and terrorists related activities. This has prompted the Jordan government to set up security agencies and which has led to increased budgetary allocation. Over the last two years, due to the increased number of Syrian refugees in Jordan, the international aid in and out of Jordan has changed tremendously. The Jordan government has since the beginning of 2012 increased its international aid request so as to gather for the refugees within its boundaries.
Specifically, Jordan has raised its international aid request by 50% from UNHCR and the Gulf so as to gather for the increased demand and needs of the refugees (UNHCR 1). Moreover, the Syrian refugees have had unprecedented pressure on the social amenities of the Jordan government. Water, electricity, schools and health care centres are some of the areas which the refugees have exerted too much pressure and forcing the Jordan government to adjust its spending. Water is a big problem in Jordan due to its widespread aridity and also because of high urban dwelling.
As a result of this, the municipal which provides water has to ration its supply and the situation has been worse by the influx of refugees to the country (MPC 1). Energy is also a problem in Jordan since its majority of the energy is imported and due to the refugee’s increment, there has been a serious problem with the energy consumption and distribution in Jordan. The Jordan government has in the last one year increased its expenditure on energy and water to accommodate the pressure and demand brought about by the refugees (RW 1).
However, it would be unfair to note that the Syrian refugees in Jordan pose economic problems to the Jordan government and economy entirely. The refugees have positive contributions to the Jordan economy and government on some other areas. For instance, in the employment sector, the Syrian refugees who are not educated offer cheap labour to various formal and informal sectors of the economy and which bring about increased profits as a result of reduction in cost of production (Christopher 1). In addition, the refugees offer competitive and available market for business people dealing with food and housing.
Because the refugees have limited options, the business people take advantage to make huge profits which they later on invest and as a result, the Jordan economy is boosted. The competition which the Syrian refugees have offered their Jordan’s counterparts is a healthy one, and due fear of losing jobs to the Syrian refugees, the Jordan workforce has over the arrival of the refugees improved their job performance and effectiveness (MPC 1). Conclusively, it is apparent that the Syrian refugees have had tremendous impacts on the Syrian economy.
Apart from straining the limited economic resources within the Jordan government, the refugees have brought about inflation and increased unemployment in Jordan. However, it is also worth noting that the refugees have had positive impacts in the Jordan economy in terms of consumption of local products and improving job performance. Works Cited Christopher, Philips. The impact of Syrian refugees on Turkey and Jordan. The World Today, 2013. 68(8). Migration Policy Center, MPC. After Libya,Syria: Towards a new refugee crisis on the borders of Europe? 013. Web. 7 May 2013, http://www. migrationpolicycentre. eu/after-libya-syria-towards-a-new-refugee-crisis-on-the-borders-of-europe/ United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR. 2013 UNHCR country operations profile-Jordan working environment. 2013. Web. 8 May 2013, http://www. unhcr. org/pages/49e486566. html Baker, Ann. ‘Will Syria’s Refugee Crisis Drain Jordan of Its Water? Time World. WordPress, 6 April 2013. Web. Migration Policy Centre, MPC. Healing a Neighbourhood: Potential EU responses to the Syrian refugee crisis. 013. Web. 8 May 2013, http://www. migrationpolicycentre. eu/healing-a-neighbourhood-potential-eu-responses-to-the-syrian-refugee-crisis/ Muhareb, Samar. Implications of the geopolitical and economic constraints for providng legal aid to refugees in Jordan. Fahamu Refugee Legal Aid Newsletter, 2013. 3(1) Strengthening humanitarian Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Reliefweb. n. p. 2013. Web. 8 May 2013, http://reliefweb. int/report/syrian-arab-republic/strengthening-humanitarian-response-syrian-refugee-crisis