U.S.-Jordan Partnership Delivers Assistance for Syrian Refugees

Walking into the Al-Bader Center in Amman, Jordan, your eyes dart to the paintings lining the wall. Some depict children’s interpretations of the recent conflicts in Syria, while others show a more hopeful future. This center, and four others like it scattered around Jordan, is a rehabilitation center where war-wounded Syrian refugees and Jordanian victims of landmines and unexploded ordnance can receive prosthetics and psychological trauma counseling.

According to the United Nations, as of March 2016 there are more than 636,040 Syrian refugees in Jordan. The population of Jordan has increased by more than 10 percent due to the influx in refugees fleeing regional crises. Notably, the percentage of war wounded refugees, especially children who have suffered limb loss and spinal cord injuries, has increased exponentially.

In addition to receiving prosthetics, residents of the centers are encouraged to participate in expressive art  classes to help process the trauma of war. [State Department photo]

Through a recent grant from the State Department’s Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs, a U.S. non-profit called the Polus Center for Social & Economic Development (Polus), is partnering with Asia Development Training, Incorporated to build national rehabilitation capacity in Jordan.

Creating exclusive local partnerships, Polus provides support to the Al Bader Center, the Al Hussein Center, Syria Without Borders, and the Al Salaam Center by distributing prosthetics and mobility devices to both adults and children including artificial limbs, wheelchairs, and braces. A significant component of the project includes training for refugees who have experienced limb loss on how to become skilled rehab professionals to help others. Some of these technicians have already returned to Syria to provide prosthetic services to recently injured war victims. 

A Syrian woman who is a recent university graduate from Darra hopes to return to Syria to help provide life-saving skills in her country. She is currently receiving prosthetic training at the Al Hussein Center. [State Department photo]

In addition, each of these centers house victims of landmines and unexploded ordnance for several weeks as fitting a prosthetic and orthotic device can be an arduous process. During this time, residents receive psychological counseling, physical therapy, and instruction on how to care for their new prosthetics.

Over the last two decades, the United States has invested more than $2.5 billion in conventional weapons destruction including survivor assistance, to more than 95 countries. As the world’s leading provider of financial and technical assistance for the clearance of explosive remnants of war, the United States looks forward to continued collaboration with our partners in the region.

As we join the international community in commemorating World Refugee Day on June 20, we hold in our thoughts the countless refugees around the world who have been displaced by conflicts and other events. The United States looks forward to continuing to leverage partnerships with other countries, civil society, and local organizations to support those who have been wounded in war and uprooted from their communities.

About the Author: Katie Coffey is the Assistant Program Manager for Near Eastern Affairs in the Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.

For more information:

  • Learn more about U.S. humanitarian demining and Conventional Weapons Destruction programs in the latest edition of our annual report, To Walk the Earth in Safety.
  • Follow the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs on Twitter @StateDeptPM.
Syrian children take part in an expressive art class at the Al-Bader Center in Amman, Jordan. [State Department photo]
Posted by Katie Coffey
June 16, 2016

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