Syrians refugee emergency

Starting April 2014
Objectives supporting communities of five informal camps in the Governorates of Barqa, Irbid (Jordan Valley) and Mafraq, with particular regard to the water supply, habitability, health care and children education.
Project status In progress
Funded by valdesi  fontedisperanza
– OPM Chiesa Valdese
– Fonte di Sepranza Onlus
– Private donors

3.000 to 5.000 Syrian refugees live in informal tented settlements (ITS), mostly in small groups of 50 -100 individuals, reportedly facing the worst life conditions among the others. These refugees are in need of the basics: covers, clothes, drugs, water.
ITS residents access to food the majority of the time thanks to the food assistance programmes in place, which provide the basics. But besides these programmes, it is common for the households in ITS to spend 1 or more days a month without access to food.
A large part of refugee households do not have access to latrines whatsoever, and instead resort to ad hoc practices such as open defecation. This represents a serious danger that may have bad consequences on hygiene and sanitation and health.
Access to healthcare services is also difficult, not mainly for the difficulty to face the expenses, but especially for the distance and in many cases for a lack of valid or recognised UNHCR registration. In addition to these dificulties in access to even available healthcare services, psycological trauma are quite common among ITS refugees, with a significant prevalence of cases in Mafraq, probably due to the highter concentration of newcomers in this area, for whom the memory of war is more vivid.
The rates of school attendance of children residing in ITS are very low. The most important challenge seems to be the lack of funds with which to meet basic school expences. Also, even ITS are often located not very far from urban centres and facilities, parents who can’t pay for transport costs do not feel confident with leaving the children go by their own.

After our on-site visits in October, November, December 2013, and more recently at the end of Jenuary 2014, we decided to focus our intervention on the critical situation that Syrian refugees are facing in Informal Tented Settlements. In this case both UNHCR and organizations working on the ground report minor  interventions (in comparison with those in Camps and in the cities) already active for  the benefit of these “dispersed” refugees, and a particularly hight need of assistance. At present, it is also evident that these refugees are lacking first of all the basics for a normal, decent and healthy life.

We thus planned to set an emergency and first aid kind of intervention, to ensure households of Syrian Refugees living in ITS in Mafraq and Irbid Governatorates decent life conditions, with regards to:  secure drinkable water, accomodation, healthcare and education.

Beside this immediate help, we we’ll also take in to account that an in depht contact with the peole living in the camps is required, in order to develop long-lasting relationships with the communities, more effective action on the field and collection of precious informations for future second level interventions.


OBJECTIVE 1: mapping informal camps
Realization of a short field research to define an updated map of the existing camps in the target area, the priority needs and services available.

OBJECTIVE 2: to provide safe drinkable water for 1.200 Syrian refugees in ITS settlements
Access to safe drinkable water is a primary challenge for Informal Tented Settlements refugees. Living ouside cities in the countryside or in the desert they do not have connection to any hydric network. These communities have to buy water from private vendors for a price they cannnot afford. This is why these refugees, and among them a large number of minors, experience a constant shortage of water and a contemporary usage of dirty and unsafe water, which may be cause of many sanitary and health problems.
With regards to the households living in Jordan Valley area, our proposal is to organize, under the supervision of proved experts in the field, a system for the purification of grey/irrigation water that is available on place. If properly processed irrigation water may become a cheap or even free resource, making these households indipendent, improving their health and life conditions.
In accordance with refugees communities and with farmers, Vento di Terra NGO will supply approximately 1000 refugees with a purifying kit called “Acquatravel” from “La Fonte Amica”  – italian private company specialized in water processing and decontamination.
Acquatravel is especially designed for maximum portability, energetic efficiency and ease of use.
A solar panel supplies a small battery with electricity so that an handy pump makes grey/irrigation water flow in a cable and in 3 steps filter system, finally filling a dedicated 150lt tank. The process filters and eliminates all most common bacteriological and chemical contamination.
On the other hand, with regards to the households living in ITS in Al Mafraq area, who do not have direct access to water sources, it will be necessary to provide drinkable water supply. Vento di Terra NGO will buy and organize weekly (6 months) delivery of drinkable water for around 250 refugees living in the area of Al Mafraq in informal tented settlements. Water will be stored into 1000lt tanks, each one serving 5/6 families with safe drinking water for a week.

OBJECTIVE 3: to deliver accomodation kit to approximately 220 families in ITS in Jordan Valley and Al Mafraq area
Refugees in ITS settlements are in need of the basics, living in UNHCR or self-built tents without any bed or forniture.
Many families have had to flee suddenly without being able to bring back anything. The project aims to provide communities with a kit designed to raise the current level of life, responding to immediate needs, create the conditions for better treatment of food. The kit includes mattresses, towels, set of pots and pans, pillows, blankets.

OBJECTIVE 4: to provide healthcare assistance to approximately 220 families in ITS in Jordan Valley and Al Mafraq area
Refugees in informal camps do not have any or regular acccess to healthcare assistance and services. Problems of distance, cost, burocracy makes it very difficult for them to be assisted in a proper way. For this purpose, a social assistant will be contracted and will check the needs of the refugees, with a special attention to the kids, giving them support in order to access  services already in place thanks to Jordan Gov., UNHCR and NGO’s.

OBJECTIVE 5: to engage kids in selected informal tented settlements in educational and playful activities
Kids in ITS settlements are not attending to school nor to any other kind of scholastic or educational activity. We want to avoid they interrupt the link with school and education, and we want to provide them with activities that may help them socialize , emotionally express and overcome fear and psicologiacal trauma.
We will distribute “School kits” to 300 kids (schoolbag, exercise book, pencils…). An educational equipe will organize and perform writing, reading, maths, middle-east history ateliers. Playful activities will also be set in place, with regards to the valorization of refugees traditions and habits: storu telling, cartonnage, toys handcraft.