Amman, Jordan’s capital and largest city, is situated in the north-west of the country near the border with the West Bank. It is considered one of the wealthiest and most developed cities in the region.
With 2.2 million inhabitants, Amman’s population has grown due to the arrival of migrants and refugees.
However, this rapid urbanisation has led to a shortage of infrastructure and pockets of poverty, especially affecting the city’s large refugee population.
Since 1986, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Amman.
Levels of urban migration are high, with many people from rural communities as well as refugees moving to cities like Amman to get better access to services and job opportunities.
Poverty rates in Amman exceed the national value, at 27%. Refugees face additional challenges in finding employment. In addition, there is less aid in this urban centre than in camps for refugees.
For children, this situation is particularly difficult- they have been torn from their homes and many have experienced violence and traumatic events. Refugee families find it hard to find shelter, work, and enough food to survive.
Death by suicide is rising in Jordan. Although the exact causes are difficult to pinpoint, soaring youth unemployment rates (50%) and rising rates of depression among refugees are major factors. More than 28% of refugees who do not live in camps report experiencing high or severe levels of depression.
Financial limitations, social stigma and a shortage of professional mental health specialists prevent those in need from accessing support. This risks leaving children in volatile living environments, at risk of losing a parent, or struggling with their own mental health.