Read caption 10-year-old Syrian refugee Raghad sits in an Arabic class at the NRC Learning Centre in Azraq refugee camp, Jordan. Photo: Hussein Amri/NRC

NRC in Jordan

Since the Syrian war broke out in 2012, Jordan has welcomed hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.

A total of


people in need received our assistance in 2018.

Humanitarian overview

Since the Syrian war broke out in 2012, Jordan has welcomed hundreds of thousands of refugees. At the end of August 2019, there were over 657,000 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR. Of those, about 545,000 live in host communities across the country. Although 80 per cent were able to secure legal status as part of a recent amnesty period, thousands did not complete the process or were ineligible, leaving them at risk of detention and forced relocation to the camps.

Many Syrians lost their identity papers in the war. Without these, refugees in Jordan struggle to move around freely, find jobs and access essential services like health care and education. Syrian refugee children can access formal education in Jordan, but schools are struggling to adapt and classrooms are often overcrowded or disrupted.

High unemployment, low income and rising debt are pushing vulnerable refugee and Jordanian families further into poverty. Most Syrian refugees in host communities live below the poverty line, struggle to find work, and depend on international aid. Meanwhile, over 123,000 Syrians living in refugee camps rely on the authorities and aid organisations for basic protection and assistance.

People we helped in Jordan in 2018

people benefited from our education programme
people benefited from our food security programme
people benefited from our shelter programme
people benefited from our ICLA programme

NRC's operation

In Jordan, we provide shelter, education, youth activities and livelihood opportunities to Syrian refugees in camps and host communities. We also provide information, counselling and legal assistance outside of the camps.

NRC EducationEducation

Our education team:

  • implements the Safe and Inclusive Schools (SIS) programme, as a model for building resilience and sustainability in schools through technical support and partnership with the school community. This includes capacity development for personnel and students, with a focus on social and emotional learning, creating systems for student and parent voices to be heard in planning and decision making, and rehabilitation of school infrastructure and classrooms
  • administers learning centres in the camps offering academic, social and emotional support to children and continues with NRC’s Better Learning Programme, which focuses on improving children’s learning capacity and encouraging natural recovery
  • oversees the construction of new classrooms in host community schools, including expansion of hygiene facilities and installation of solar panels
  • conducts community awareness-raising to address protection concerns in schools, and rehabilitates schools and classrooms to ensure high quality and safe learning environments

NRC Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)Information, counselling and legal assistance (ICLA)

Our ICLA teams help Syrian refugees claim their rights and understand their responsibilities in Jordan. We:

  • provide counselling on legal and civil documentation, registering life events and supporting refugee registration procedures
  • advise on housing rights, including evictions and landlord-tenant disputes
  • provide information and counselling on work rights and entitlements to facilitate access to legal employment and fair working conditions
  • work with Jordanian legal aid actors to offer refugees and Jordanians legal assistance, including court representation
  • coordinate with UN agencies and INGOs for protection-related matters

NRC Livelihoods and food securityLivelihoods and food security

Our livelihoods staff:

  • enables youth and adults to access jobs through the demand-driven “Transition to Employment” process, which includes screening of employers and job seekers, skills-for-work training, post-placement mentorship support, and partnership with the private sector
  • provides cash-for-work opportunities for economically vulnerable Syrian refugees and Jordanians which include the repair and expansion of water management infrastructure, forestry conservation, and various municipality projects
  • provides agriculture communities with supplementary income opportunities
  • facilitates training for agriculture community members on plant and hydroponic system management through both private and public partners
  • supports the Jordanian private and public sectors in integrating Syrian refugees into the labour market through staffing capacity and policy recommendations

NRC Shelter and settlementsShelter and settlements

In Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps, our shelter teams:

  • manage the day-to-day operation of reception areas in the camps
  • distribute regular and winter-specific household items and winter items through cash, vouchers and in-kind distributions
  • ensure regular maintenance of the shelters through repair works maintain communal sites and develop community infrastructure
  • engage skilled, semi-skilled and unskilled Syrian refugee labourers through an incentive cash-for-work scheme, in coordination with the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate

In host communities across northern Jordan, our shelter teams:

  • provide Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanians with adequate housing of their choice, rent-free for an initial period of time. This allows a household's investment in positive coping strategies, with time to search for income opportunities and repay debts
  • monitor lease agreements and landlord-tenant relationships to ensure greater security of tenure
  • work on renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency solutions in shelters and in schools, to offset utility costs

NRC Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH)Water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) promotion

In host communities across northern Jordan, our WASH teams:

  • promote and raise awareness about safe hygiene practices and water conservation for households
  • connect Syrian and Jordanian households to the national water distribution network, to offset utility costs, in coordination with the national water company
  • improve and upgrade sanitation facilities for Syrian and Jordanian households


Many Syrian refugees and Jordanian youth in Jordan are young people who struggle to transition into work and to actively engage in their communities. Our youth team:

  • offers accredited vocational training courses for youth in camps, including tailoring, solar energy, electrical wiring and information technology. The courses include life skills training to address their personal, social and emotional development. Vocational training is fully accredited by the National TVET accreditation authority
  • provides an income generation pathway through “‘Innovation Labs”’ for youth to generate income and apply their skills in meaningful projects supported by mentors. The projects include fabrication of school uniforms, wooden beds and steel ramps, and maintenance of solar lights, ACs and camp infrastructure in line with camp and community needs
  • provides ICT, English language, academic and blended learning courses through partnerships with universities to support youth pursuing further education
  • supports access to employment and work readiness through technical and employability skills training  and mentorship, as well as provision of career guidance and business training for vocational training graduates
  • increases youth social participation by engaging refugees and Jordanian youth as volunteers within the education programme and in designing and implementing small-scale social initiatives to benefit the community

NRC Jordan is grateful for the generous support from our donors:


  • UK Department for International Development (DFID)
  • Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida)
  • Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
  • US Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM)
  • Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA)
  • French Development Agency (AFD)
  • German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ)
  • Swiss State Secretariat for Migration
  • United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)
  • Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Jordan Humanitarian Fund (OCHA)
  • Reach Out to Asia (ROTA)
  • World Bank
  • Practical Action/IKEA Foundation

About NRC in Jordan

International Staff
Areas of operation
Amman (Country Office), Irbid, Jerash, Ajloun, Mafraq, Amman, Zaatari camp and Azraq camp.
Budget 2019
USD 39 million
National staff


Country Director

Muriel Tschopp


+962 (0)6 565 6804