Arab News Japan
TOKYO: The Japan premier screening of the movie “Tiny Souls” by Jordanian director Dina Naser was held in Tokyo. The film featured the plight of a real slice of life of a Syrian refugee family in Zaatari Camp located north of Jordan, just a few kilometers away from the Syrian border.
Jordan’s Ambassador to Japan, Lina Annab, told a crowd of Japanese officials, academics and people attending the show that the camp is the largest Syrian camp in the world, and with almost 80,000 residents, it is close to being Jordan’s fourth largest city.
“It has become all too clear that refugees are disproportionately hosted not by wealthy nations, but by poor and middle-income countries next to their own. And this holds true to Jordan” Ambassador Annab said, referring to the plight of 70 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by conflicts, persecution and other forms of oppression worldwide. Out of these 70 million an estimated 26 million persons are refugees, according to UN data.
The size of Jordan is almost the size of Hokkaido Prefecture, and the population of Jordan is estimated at 10.5 million out of which a staggering 3.5 million persons are refugees, according to available data. In percentage terms, 34% of Jordan’s population are refugees, 28% of them are either registered with UNHCR or with UNRWA the UN agency in charge of the Palestinian refugees, Annab said.
To put this in relative terms, it is as if a country like Japan hosted 35 million refugees, Annab said. “In fact, and despite of its meager resources and the many socio-economic and geopolitical challenges it faces, Jordan is considered today to be one of the highest refugee population per capita in the world.”
There are about 660,000 Syrians registered with UNHCR in Jordan.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, all refugees in Jordan are included in the National Health Response Plan and are able to access national health services on par with Jordanian nationals, she said.
As of Nov. 10, the total number of persons of concern (PoC) that have tested positive for COVID-19 in Jordan’s refugee camps reached 672, of which 503 have recovered. No deaths have been recorded.
The ambassador thanked organizations such as UNHCR and the World Health Organizations and Japan’s JICA for their support.
She also said it was encouraging to see mention of refuges in the “Leaders’ Declaration” of the latest G20 summit few days ago hosted by Saudi Arabia.