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NRC provides assistance to quarter of a million Syrian refugees, vulnerable Jordanians in 2015, Official
Amman 27 February, (Petra) – The Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC ) in 2015 provided various assistance to a quarter of a million Syrian refugees and vulnerable Jordanian families in the north of the Kingdom, according to NRC Country Director, Petr Kostohryz.

Kostohryz told Petra that NRC’s main areas of operation are the Zaatari, Azraq and EJC camps and host communities in Irbid, Jerash, Ajloun and Mafraq governorates.

"At the moment NRC operates seven educational centres in three camps that are attended by 10,000 children and young Syrians, who benefit from various education services", he pointed out.

Kostohryz explained that the council also manages reception areas and plays a major role in providing basic shelter and non-food-item assistance in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps.

"We are very conscious of the impact of the Syria crisis on the quality of life and access to services for the Jordanian hosts and the need to assist Jordan in dealing with the consequences of the refugee crisis", he said.

Kostohryz stated that the Council is working with the Jordanian Ministry of Education through its education programme, where NRC launched a new project in 2015 aiming to increase the capacity of selected public schools in high refugee influx areas in northern Jordan by building and furnishing additional classrooms in addition to constructing water and sanitation facilities.

NRC has handed over two school extensions in Irbid governorate and is currently working to finish extensions for other selected schools in northern Jordan. The project aims to provide educational support and building more extensions for 14 more schools for the years 2016/2017 to support the education ministry in increasing capacity for the education of Jordanian and Syrian children.

NRC’s engagement with schools in host communities also includes a renewable energy component where NRC, in cooperation with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, installs photovoltaic systems in selected schools in order to decrease electricity bills. In addition, NRC installs solar water heating systems to houses owned by Jordanian landlords and inhabited by Syrian refugees in urban areas. NRC aims to install 160 solar water heaters for houses and 20 photovoltaic systems for public schools in Irbid and Jerash by mid-2016.

Kostohryz added that NRC has been working in host communities since 2013 through its Urban Shelter Programme, where it provides support to Jordanian landlords to finish their semi-constructed houses or to create new housing units, providing tangible support to Jordanian host communities while meeting the immediate shelter needs of vulnerable Syrian refugees.

The programme was recently extended in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior and will be a key activity as NRC expands its activities and services in host communities to ensure that assistance is provided to those who need it most. NRC has supported around 1,000 Jordanian house-owners in 74 locations in northern Jordan.

Kostohryz emphasized the importance of addressing the needs of each community as a whole and ensure that residents are able to live and prosper together. That is where NRC’s relationships with various parts of the Government of Jordan have been essential to ensure that equitable access to assistance.

He also indicated that NRC Jordan employs 400 national staff, making up 95 percent of its staff. "An important part of NRC’s work in Jordan is to use and further support the national capacity, to develop the skills of people who will in the medium and long term take the responsibility for the work we are doing today," Kostohryz said, adding that NRC is increasingly engaging with various parts of the civil society in Jordan.

Established in 1946, NRC is an independent humanitarian non-profit organization that operates in 27 countries around the world. NRC has been working in the Middle East since 2006.

//Petra// AF, MS
27/2/2016 - 05:02:46 PM

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