Foreign aid does not cover 30% of Jordan's refugee bill- Majali
The foreign assistance extended to Jordan so far to mitigate the effect of hosting Syrian refugees does not even cover 30 per cent of the actual cost of the crisis in Jordan, Interior Minister Hussein Majali said on Monday.
During a meeting with a NATO Parliamentary Assembly delegation, Majali said the Kingdom's northern region has born the brunt of the refugee influx, stressing that Mafraq Governorate's population has increased by 70 per cent since the crisis started, which created extra pressure on its infrastructure and services.
Responding to a question about Jordan receiving $5 billion from international donors in assistance for the refugee crisis, Majali said "promises are one thing and implementing them on the ground is another".
The NATO delegation, who are in the Kingdom to examine the situation of Syrian refugees and their effect on Jordan's infrastructure, met on Monday with HRH Prince Feisal, the Regent, Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, Lower House Speaker Saad Hayel Srour and acting Senate president Abdur-Ra’uf S. Rawabdeh.
During his meeting with the NATO officials, the Regent said Jordan is committed to supporting peace efforts in the Middle East and a comprehensive peaceful solution to end the bloodshed in Syria.
He noted that Jordan advocates a two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and seeks to support a peaceful resolution of the Syrian crisis, highlighting its repercussions on the Kingdom, as it hosts a large number of refugees.
Discussions during the meeting, attended by Srour, also covered means to enhance cooperation between Jordan and NATO and the latest regional developments.
Members of the delegation commended the "advanced level" that Jordan has reached in its quest to achieve reform, describing the Kingdom as a "regional model".
They also lauded Jordan's role in supporting peace efforts and safeguarding the region's stability.
During a separate meeting, Ensour highlighted Jordan's reform endeavour, which is aimed at reaching full parliamentary governments.
He stressed that political, economic and social reform cannot be separated, adding that the process will continue despite the Kingdom's economic difficulties.
Also at the meeting, attended by Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani and Minister of Political and Parliamentary Affairs Khaled Kalaldeh, the premier said the Syrian refugee crisis has come at a time when the Kingdom is going through the most difficult economic situation in its history.
Noting that international agencies and donor countries have provided support for Jordan as it hosts thousands of Syrian refugees, Ensour said more is needed to ensure the sustainability of the basic services provided to the Syrians, especially in the fields of education, healthcare, water and employment.
The delegation, which includes representatives of several European parliaments, expressed appreciation of Jordan's stance in supporting refugees and all who are in need of humanitarian assistance.
In a separate meeting with the delegation, Srour said Jordan is pressing on with its reform process, highlighting what has been achieved so far.
Discussions also covered the Syrian crisis and the duties of the Lower House in legislating and monitoring government performance.
Meanwhile, Rawabdeh met with members of the visiting delegation and discussed a number of reform-related issues as well as the latest regional developments.
The delegates said they will convey Jordan's need for more assistance to their countries' leaders to support the Kingdom in its humanitarian role and assist host communities.
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