Life Remains Tough For Iraqi Refugees In Jordan
Rampant extremist activities in recent years has forced nearly 60,000 Iraqis to leave their homes and enter the neighboring country Jordan, but life has not proven easy for many refugees who made the move.
Hassan Nofal used to be a pharmacist in Iraq, and both of his parents were college teachers. The whole family left their home in a small town near Mosul in 2014 and headed to northern Iraq to escape the conflicts. But after Nofal's baby girl was born in 2015, the family decided to move to Jordan and start a new life.
However, after arriving in Jordan, they found that their identity as refugees restricted them from taking up work, with the whole family only able to rely on relief supplies to survive.
"Every Iraqi here, he wishes to get a job for his family. You know, for immigration, it takes a lot of time, maybe two or three (years), more than this. So, getting a job is very important to us," said Nofal.
For some of the Iraqi refugees, life has been made even harder due to their deteriorating physical conditions and the lack of medicine, according to one doctor.
"I'm facing here a lot of numbers of refugee families that are complaining for many conditions. The most important are psychological problems. In addition to that, many of them (are) complaining for medical disease. Certain families cannot obtain sufficient quantities of medicines," said Dr. Baraa Ishaq, who also arrived in Jordan after leaving Iraq in 2015.
Alongside all the difficulties they currently face, many people are more concerned about what their future holds. Some want to leave Jordan and migrate to another country to find new opportunities, but not everyone has that chance.
"Solutions outside Jordan (are) not available for everyone. But we will form a solution to increase the opportunities for refugees to continue their study, to possibly in the future have labor opportunities also outside Jordan, and to continue to have access to services," said Daniela Cicchella, Assistant Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
Unlike Syrian refugees, many Iraqi refugees did not have time to prepare before they left home. Some say that they have left all memories of their past in Iraq, and they can never get them back. Though they now aim to start afresh in another country, it is clear these refugees need more help from the outside world to enable them to prosper.