Contributor Perspectives

Jordan Balances Budgets and Borders

Anisa Mehdi
Board of Contributors
Feb 7, 2018 | 18:42 GMT
The influx of refugees, including Syrians fleeing their country's civil war, is straining Jordan's resources and trying its citizens' patience.

Refugee children at the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees on January 28 in Zaatari, Jordan.

(Salah Malkawi/Getty Images)

Over the past 70 years, Jordan has welcomed refugees from war-torn geographies nearby. Many people remain in refugee settlements, but others have settled permanently in the country. The Jordanian government and its citizens -- as hospitable a people as most in the region -- bear a substantial socio-economic burden in caring for the Palestinians, Iraqis and Syrians who wind up in their midst. During a recent visit to the kingdom, where I've lived and whose people and cultures I deeply respect, I was surprised to hear local residents talk about the personal sacrifices they feel they are making to maintain the well-being of displaced people. Even some of my most compassionate and hospitable friends there are beginning to experience discomfort and wonder how long their country's charity can last....

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