Jordan is surrounded by conflict, in Iraq, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Syria. Some consider its political stability to be threatened by the influx of large numbers of refugees from the region. Over 655,833 have arrived so far from Syria, while the advance of Islamic State in Iraq has seen the arrival of several other waves of people fleeing violence.
Jordan has taken part in air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq, as well as against Houthi rebels in Yemen. In relation to the Syrian crisis, the Jordanian government announced in 2015 that it would provide locations for a US-funded programme to train small groups of Syrian rebels.
In addition, analysts have pointed to Jordan’s somewhat pervasive issue of exportation of IS fighters across its borders with Syria and Iraq. Because of this, domestic security concerns are of a high priority, especially after IS attacks such as that at Al Karak in 2016, and border clashes in June 2017.
In spite of security concerns, Jordan still holds its commitment to house Syrian refugees to be very important. In 2016, the EU and Jordan adopted a compact. This included a pledge to improve the living conditions of Syrian refugees in Jordan as well as the communities hosting them. While its largest camps have been applauded for their efficiency, the next challenge is providing long-term solutions for refugees, including those outside of camps, such as providing education and job opportunities.
Last updated: September 2017