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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Risk and Protective Factors Facing Refugees in Jordan

  • Author(s): Pierce, Hayley
  • Advisor(s): Johnson-Hanks, Jennifer
  • et al.
Abstract

The refugee and displacement problem is one of the most complicated humanitarian issues facing the Middle East, and perhaps the world. The UN Refugee Agency reports that there are 65.3 million people seeking protection and assistance as a consequence of forced displacement. Globally, over 40 million people are displaced within their own country, 21 million are refugees with 5.2 million of those listed as Palestinian refugees registered with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), and the remaining 3.2 million are asylum seekers. A vast proportion of these individuals and families come from or find refuge in the Middle East.

This dissertation seeks to find out how the reproductive, maternal, and child health of refugees in Jordan compare to Jordanian nationals. Additionally, what possible risk factors or protective factors do refugees in these camps encounter? And then what void can donors fill? And what should be donors top priority among these factors? Refugees are separated from critical social institutions that provide health, education, security and economic opportunity. Support organizations ability to replace these social institutions depends on the complexity of the institution, resources available, and characteristics of the refugees. I will compare refugee characteristics to assess effectiveness of support communities. I will include characteristics of refugees so see how important these are. Results will help scholars, policy makers and governments understand which social institutions are or are not being replaced, and I will discuss possible reasons for this.

This research uses the 2012 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) from Jordan and the 2012 DHS survey from Haiti. Findings across all three articles suggest that there is an ambivalence of refugee camp membership that is consistent- camp membership provides a health security and a social liability. In all instances involved in this research, the camps are able to provide provisional resources on par with or better than the host country while simultaneously making the refugees vulnerable to abuses and other social hardships. These findings suggest an agenda focused on social integration for aid organizations going further.

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