Bishop of Southwark asks Government about help for Iraqi refugees in Jordan

On 2nd March 2016 the Bishop of Southwark, Rt Revd Christopher Chessun, received answers to three written questions on the plight of Iraqi refugees in Jordan.

The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the conditions facing Iraqi refugees in Jordan. [HL6275]

Baroness Verma: The situation for many refugees in Jordan is challenging, irrespective of nationality. Services are provided by the international community and the Government of Jordan based on a system of prioritisation of the most vulnerable and Iraqi refugees are included in this system. Like all refugees, Iraqis are registered by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and access assistance from UN agencies, international NGOs and national NGOs. Partners assess vulnerability in Jordan at individual, community and household levels. These vulnerability assessments take into account positive coping strategies and support networks, which are understood to be better established among the Iraqi community, including through religious institutions such as mosques and churches.


The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to include vulnerable Iraqi refugees in Jordan who are registered with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in their resettlement plans. [HL6276]

Lord Bates: The UK operates three resettlement routes, Gateway, Mandate and the Syrian Vulnerable Persons Resettlement (VPR) Scheme, working closely with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on each. There are no current plans to resettle Iraqis registered with UNHCR and currently seeking refuge in Jordan under any of our resettlement schemes. However, we plan to continue to resettle Iraqi refugees currently in Syria under the Gateway programme. The case load for the Gateway programme is reviewed annually in consultation with UNHCR.


The Lord Bishop of Southwark: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what percentage of the Department for International Development’s humanitarian aid package for Jordan is intended to meet the needs of Iraqi refugees in Jordan. [HL6277]

Baroness Verma: The UK’s humanitarian aid package for Jordan is not earmarked to a particular group of refugees, in line with international humanitarian principles of impartiality. Instead, it targets those most vulnerable and in urgent need, irrespective of nationality. In particular, DFID provides direct support to UNHCR’s protection mandate which serves all registered refugees and asylum seekers in Jordan, including the 53,756 registered Iraqis. DFID’s partners in Jordan subscribe to the same principles and operate an open door policy, providing health, protection services and basic needs support to all refugees, whether they be Syrian, Iraqi, Yemeni or from elsewhere. DFID also support projects aimed at improving overall public services used by all people living in Jordan, such as water supply, sanitation services and solid waste management. As well as the fact that Iraqi refugees have been in Jordan longer and are therefore better established, it is important to note that the number being met with humanitarian services is lower due to the fact that there are nearly 12 registered Syrian refugees to every one registered Iraqi refugee.