In 2013, Jordan hosted over two and a half million refugees and asylum seekers from various countries, such as Palestine, Syria and Iraq.

According to official data, more than two million Palestinian refugees are living in Jordan. Following the first Arab-Israeli war, Palestinians from the West Bank were given 'temporary citizenship'. Palestinians therefore enjoy citizen-like rights, such as access to education, healthcare and access to the labour market.

Since 2011, Jordan has experienced a mass influx of over half a million Syrian refugees. Nearly eighty thousand Syrian refugees are hosted in the country's biggest refugee camp, Za'atari.

Besides the regular Palestinian refugee population in Jordan, as of April 2014 nearly fourteen thousand Palestinian refugees from Syria have sought asylum in Jordan. In early 2013, the country officially announced a non-entry policy for Palestinian refugees from Syria. Palestinian refugees from Syria are regularly sent back on the Syrian-Jordanian border.

The country also hosts about 55,500 Iraqi refugees. Being trapped in limbo with no durable solutions available, Iraqi refugees mainly depend on cash assistance and are extremely vulnerable.

Legal situation:
  • Jordan is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol.
  • With the absence of any international legal framework, the country's response to refugee influxes is fully governed by the 1998 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between UNHCR and the Government of Jordan.
  • Jordan is one of the five countries of operation of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA). Since early 2013, the government of Jordan follows a non-entry policy for Palestinian refugees from Syria.