Syrian crisis brings Jordan to verge of collapse amid risk of silent fanaticism

An AsiaNews source describes a situation "at breaking point. There is no housing, water  or work". The government has so far maintained "control", but long-term projects are needed as well as peace in Syria, because the refugees "want to return to their country”.  The increasing risk of a "silent fanaticism" that could flare up. In the midst of chaos, the reality of Karak Hospital, whichcontinues to assist pregnant women and children.


Amman (AsiaNews) - The situation in Jordan is on "the verge of collapse", the country is struggling to withstand the waves of refugees that "continue to arrive from Syria", to withstand a war that risks "destabilizing" the entire  region, although "so far the government has been able to maintain control".  

An institutional source for AsiaNews in Jordan, who has requested anonymity for security reasons, confirms the alarm recently sounded by King Abdullah, that "the dam is about to burst." According to the United Nations, there are at least 635 thousand refugees in Jordan. Amman says the figure is even higher and amounts to 1.4 million, about 20% of the total population.

"Right now - says the source - the country is experiencing a situation of overcrowding, the presence of over a million refugees begins to weigh, forbearance has reached its limit”. This uncertainty "scares people" and caused enormous repercussions. There is no  water; people "are looking for jobs, often on the black market because cheaper, a framework that upset the normal situation of the country" .

In Jordan, the schools, the hospitals, the labor market are collapsing. The European Union calls on the Amman government to create job opportunities for the refugees, but the reality is complicated and requires investment funds for both the local population and the refugees. Of which only 1.5% have a work permit, and the situation will worsen.

"Prices have risen - confirms the AsiaNews source  - and the biggest problem concerns water and houses. Added to this is the question of heating, which in winter becomes a necessity. It's really hard to provide for everything. Jordan has done all that it can, but now there is really need help because Amman cannot continue alone. And in this context there is an added risk of destabilization, even if currently the situation is not dangerous, there is great uncertainty about the future. " And the "future", a long term vision of the future is what is lacking in a country which is still hosting refugees from the first Gulf War, in 1991.

Today world leaders will gather in London to raise nine billion dollars to meet the needs of the millions of Syrian refugees; the United Nations is asking for 7.73 billion dollars in aid to Syria, in addition to 1.23 billion for the states involved in the crisis. "World leaders - warns the source - must think about the extreme poverty and uncertainty that we experience here. Hunger, disease, the lack of basic necessities ... and then they also have to think about peace, the end of the conflict which is the primary condition to solve every crisis ".

The main problem is the lack of "long-term" projects, so that the refugees can "look forward to be able to return to their homeland, where they lost homes, assets, property ... They come from Homs, Damascus, Aleppo, and want to return there". Projects and initiatives that must be supported by a united front: this cannot concern only governments but must also be shared by Europe, the United States, by the international community. "Because we are facing a closed world - concludes the source - where a silent fanaticism, which for now remains under control, is beginning to make its presence felt. But, one day, it could flare up ... ".

In a widely critical situation, which also covers the southern Jordan, where there are at least 10 thousand Syrian refugees, there is a reality that continues to welcome refugees, especially pregnant women and children with severe problems due to the cold (it is snowing in the area) and malnutrition.

This is the Italian Cnewa Hospital in Karak, a city of 170 thousand inhabitants 150 km south of Amman, the only equipped center of the region, where staff work with a common mission and without discrimination. Staff speak of a situation of emergency, with many children hospitalized with pneumonia and newborns that are physically debilitated.

Despite the difficulties the hospital run by the Comboni Sisters keeps the doors open, welcoming Christians and Muslims without discrimination indeed, promoting mutual harmony. Even women experience this welcoming climate. The structure also suffers from the same severe financial difficulties that are affecting the whole country, but the help of volunteers and associations allows them to continue their work.

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