Syrian Refugees Receive Winter Clothing, Shoes, Sleeping Bags
The Outreach Services for Syrian Refugees (OSIR) program, currently in its fifth year, was expanded in March 2012 to assist refugees fleeing the conflict in Syria. IRD is providing cash assistance, establishing community action committees, and implementing quick-impact programming to support vulnerable Syrian families in Jordan.
Members of the community action committees attend workshops and training sessions on issues relevant to their refugee community and use this information to implement community service activities. They also encourage social interaction among the elderly, youth, and entire families, helping alleviate the isolation refugees often experience.
Clothing is distributed to refugees fleeing violence in Syria. The harsh 2012–13 winter made refugees more vulnerable due to a lack of warm clothing and other winter items. In late February 2013, IRD and UNHCR handed out winter clothing, shoes, and sleeping bags to Syrians in Ma’an, Shobak, and Mafraq. The sleeping bags were donated to IRD from a private fund, the Saudi National Campaign (SNC).
Following the national elections earlier this year, several schools in Ma’an were set on fire as a result of riots. Because IRD has been supporting the Ma’an Governorate and its communities for a long time, the Ministry of Education asked IRD to undertake a quick-impact project, the distribution of furniture, computers, televisions, printers, copy machines, and garbage bins.
The local press covered the event and the governor of Ma’an expressed gratitude to IRD and UNHCR for their support. The governor underlined the importance of the assistance that the Syrian refugees and the Ministry of Education had received, which made it possible for the ministry to provide better services to communities in the area and thus to improve the living conditions of vulnerable families.
The Outreach Services for Iraqi Refugees project is funded by UNHCR and managed by IRD. It is scheduled to run January–December 2013.