A young boy stands in an aisle at the Tazweed market next to a grocery cart
WFP/Ellie Kealey

655, 404

Syrian refugees registered in Jordan as of November 2016


Syrian refugees assisted with e-cards and paper vouchers in November 2016

The Situation

Jordan has a young, largely urban population of 9.5 million. Despite its status as an upper middle-income country, it has pockets of food insecurity, especially where refugee-hosting communities remain seriously affected by the protracted economic crisis of 2008 and the continuing conflict in Syria. Right now Jordan is home to nearly 700,000 registered Syrian refugees.

Jordan is one of the world’s four most water-deficit countries. It is ranked 102 out of 155 countries on the 2014 Gender Inequality Index and 80 out of 188 countries in the Human Development Index.

World Food Programme's Work

WFP has been present in Jordan since 1964.

The U.N. agency’s assistance in Jordan focuses on providing food assistance to Syrian refugees and supporting the government on improving the quality of life for Jordanians, creating income-generating opportunities and guaranteeing social welfare. WFP’s support comes at a time when the country is faced with a chronic economic crisis, further exacerbated by the Syrian refugee crisis.

Since 2012, a Regional Emergency Operation has provided food assistance through e-cards to Syrian refugees in communities and camps, in addition to school meals and daily distributions of fresh bread in the camps. Outside the camps, WFP has implemented a targeted approach with extremely vulnerable and vulnerable Syrian families.

To address food insecurity, WFP initiated a Protracted Relief and Recovery Operation in 2014 that aims to improve food security for affected Jordanians as well. This includes targeted food rations for the most vulnerable; food-for-assets initiatives that provide e-cards in exchange for work on forest and rangeland rehabilitation and food-for-training initiatives that offer vocational training opportunities and on-the-job training to develop human capital and improve employability. E-cards supports the local economy by partnering with approved retailers.

In 2014, WFP resumed its school meals program in Jordan, which aims to reach more than 320,000 schoolchildren throughout 2016, focusing on the most food-insecure areas. WFP distributes locally produced date bars three days per week, while the Government provides high-energy biscuits and fresh fruit during the remaining two days of the school week. Each meal meets the children’s daily micronutrient needs.

Articles About Jordan

WFP/Mohammad Batah

When food and music change lives

Mustafa Alsagheer sold his most prized possession to save his daughter’s life. But as the health care bills mounted, his family’s livelihood was left hanging in the balance. This is…


Children Sleeping in Open Air

Escalating violence in southern Syria continues to displace families from their homes.

World food program usa

WFP/Edward Johnson

When Refugee Children Go To School, WFP is There

For Syrian refugees, many rest easy knowing what their children will enjoy when they walk through the doors of their classrooms far away from home: a nutritious school meal.

World food program usa

Rasha lives in the Tartous region of Syria, where WFP is supporting farmers. Her family fled Aleppo, where she was born, but she doesn't remember the city.
WFP/Dina El-Kassaby

Six Years in Syria: Innovation on the Front Lines

Today marks the 6th anniversary of the conflict in Syria.

World food program usa

WFP/Laure Chadraoui

10 Facts About The Syrian Refugee Crisis In Jordan

Learn how WFP is feeding families in need and why this humanitarian assistance is so crucial

Aliya Karim, M.J. Altman

My Reflections On The Pope: Why He Surprised Me

Have you ever met someone you thought would be larger-than-life but ultimately was the most down-to-earth and approachable person you have ever encountered? That’s what it was like for me…

Richard Leach

WFP/Mohammad Batah

Update From The Field: WFP’s Eye-Catching New Technology

Humanitarian organizations like the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) are always on the lookout for better tools and technology to improve the efficiency and breadth of their operations. With…

Katherine Frank

Tackling the Greatest Challenge of Our Time

Earlier this year during a visit to the Zataari refugee camp in Jordan, I watched a bus depart the front gates and head into the desert. When I asked where…

Richard Leach

©WFP USA/E. Kealey for Tiger Nest Films

Marouf’s Home Is Not In Jordan

Almost four years after fleeing Syria, he and his family struggle to reconcile the life they didn’t ask for with the one they left behind.

Ash Kosiewicz

Hamda stands in front of a camera at a grocery cash register
WFP/Mohammad Batah

Hope in the Blink of an Eye

The UN World Food Programme (WFP) launched new technology today that allows Syrian refugees in Jordan to purchase food from local shops with a scan of their eye. Hamda, a Syrian refugee…

Ash Kosiewicz

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