(MENAFN - Jordan Times) Despite the difficult conditions in which they currently live, Syrians seeking refuge in the Kingdom from the violence in their country say the assistance of Jordanians is making their situation easier to bear.
"It was not easy to leave my country at first, but the peaceful life I am leading here and the help that Jordanian families are providing us helped ease the pain," Um Ahmad, a Syrian refugee living in Amman, said yesterday.
Umm Ahmad said she and her family are sharing an apartment with three other families.
"We can't afford to pay the rent of JD300. So each family lives in a room and we share the rent," the mother of three told The Jordan Times, adding that neither she nor her husband are able to work in Jordan, "and we depend heavily on the help of our Jordanian neighbours".
"When the neighbourhood heard about us," she explained, "they started providing us with food, furniture and basic goods that we could not afford."
Um Ghazi, another displaced Syrian living in Mafraq, said she lives on assistance from charities.
"I live with my husband, six children and my divorced daughter in two rooms," Um Ghazi told The Jordan Times over the phone yesterday, adding that none of her children have jobs.
"We have to pay JD100 in rent, which we cannot afford. However, the Islamic Charity Centre helps us pay the rent and they provide us with other supplies," Um Ghazi said, stressing that despite the hardships she and her family are currently going through, "living in peace is a priority, and we cannot go back to Syria under these circumstances".
Abu Ahmad, another Syrian refugee in Mafraq, also said he appreciates the in-kind and financial assistance provided to his family by charities.
"Every month I receive JD75-JD100 from charities, in addition to the in-kind help benevolent Jordanians give me," said the father of six.
Despite its tight budget, the health ministry said it is also providing free healthcare services for displaced Syrians in Mafraq and Ramtha.
In a statement sent to The Jordan Times, Minister of Health Abdul Latif Wreikat said all Syrian refugees who need medical care receive treatment for free in public hospitals and health centres.
He also noted that a clinic will soon be established in Ramtha to provide health services for Syrian refugees there.
In addition, the minister said all Syrian children in Jordan are receiving vaccinations against communicable diseases.
Over 78,000 Syrian nationals have crossed into Jordan since the launch of a military crackdown on peaceful protesters in March 2011, according to an official source, including 1,400 who crossed into the Kingdom "illegally" and 200 Syrians who returned to their home country.
According to the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) in Jordan, over 3,800 Syrian nationals have registered with the agency, a figure officials admit is unrepresentative of the true number of Syrians in need, many of whom opt not to register with the agency out of fear of reprisal from their government, relying instead on assistance from local charity associations.
UN Undersecretary General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe said at the International Conference of the Friends of the Syrian People in Tunis on Friday that 20,000 Syrians have registered with the UNHCR in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.
According to a copy of the speech received by The Jordan Times, Pascoe said the UN is working with the governments of Syria's neighbours "to ensure that Syrian nationals and others fleeing the violence receive assistance and protection".