10% of Jordan’s population now Syrian refugees, as Big Heart Campaign’s $5 Million healthcare donation proves ‘Hope is the best medicine’

Refugees face skyrocketing rents, harsh winter and over-burdened waste disposal system which multiplies health risks

UAE, Sharjah, November 2013: Amid health challenges that Syrian refugees face on daily basis, they have been handed a rare glimmer of hope after a $5 million donation from the Big Heart Campaign. The donation will primarily go towards crucial medical interventions for 150,000 Syrians, and was presented by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, the campaign’s patron and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children.

Adding to Syrians’ desperate situation is the fact that Jordan’s population of only 6 million is already over-burdened after accommodating influx after influx of refugees — from Palestine , and Iraq right up to today.
The refugee settlement of Zaatari is now Jordan’s fourth-largest community. With one in 10 people in Jordan now a Syrian refugee, and with the fact that conflict has now passed 30 torturous months with no solution in the horizon. Some Jordanian cities like Mafraq have doubled in population almost overnight following arrival of Syrians.

Presenting the $5 million donation, Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi elaborated: “As refugee settlements swell up with new arrivals daily, health risks also multiply, putting increased pressure on the supply of clean water, nutritious food, medication and qualified specialists.The Jordanian government estimates that it needs no less than $1 billion per year to maintain refugees, That’s why our contributions must multiply at a faster pace than the demand. We are greatly indebted to our generous donors who have not lost their willpower even though the conflict seems to be never-ending. I also want to thank the Jordanian communities who have opened up their hearts to Syrians, because I know there is enormous strain on Jordan’s delicate social and economic balance. It was never the Syrians’ choice to be in Jordan for this long, but while they are here we should help them lead as normal a life as possible.”

The fragile state of refugee settlements, where over-burdened municipalities have led to streets swamped with garbage, clogged sewers and erratic water supply – all of which in turn amplifies health risks. The situation is even worse for hundreds of thousands of unregistered Syrians living in Jordan, as they cannot access healthcare.

UNHCR Representative in Jordan, Andrew Harper praised this donation saying: “We are extremely grateful to Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi for spearheading this generous contribution. It will benefit 150,000 vulnerable Syrians, and refugee families will receive essential medical services to improve the health of the refugee population. Jordan’s health facilities are stretched to breaking point, so the Big Heart Campaign’s generous support will greatly help UNHCR to keep up with demand.”

The US$ 5 million donation is part of a series of donations that will be made by HH Sheikha Jawaher on behalf of the Big Heart Campaign, in order to impact hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Syria itself.

Donors can make life-saving contributions to the ‘Big Heart for Syrian Refugee Children’ campaign. Funds are collected through ‘Salam YaSeghar’, endorsed by HH Sheikha Jawaher.

SMS “Donate”:

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Bank Details:

Account Name: Salam YaSeghar “For Syrian Refugee Children”
Account Number: 00344 3043 0012
(Kindly write the bank account number behind your cheque)
IBAN: AE5804 100000 3443043 0012

Contact: +971-6-594-1111/15/03