Empowering refugees in urban settings in Jordan.
The Community Based Support to Refugees 2 (CBSR II) program provides community services and support to Jordanian host-community members, and Syrian and non-Syrian refugees residing in camp (Za’atari, King Abdullah Park (KAP), and Cyber City (CC)) and urban settings through community outreach, mobilization and capacity development.
The three overarching objectives of CBSR II are:
- Providing support in assessing the status and needs of the Syrian refugee population in order to connect refugees with the services needed;
- Supporting and expanding community mobilization and self-management among refugees and Jordanians in urban host communities; and
- Providing access to services for those with specialized needs, including psychosocial issues, disabilities, injuries, chronic diseases and survivors of sexually based gender violence (SGBV).
In the urban setting, CBSR II manages the largest Home Visit (HV) outreach project in Jordan and has become the primary partner responsible for vulnerability assessments. The program has successfully provided vulnerability criteria data for well over 200,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugee cases throughout Jordan, enabling UNHCR to provide cash assistance and other services to the most vulnerable. Outreach work has contributed significantly to UNHCR’s Refugee Assistance Information System (RAIS) database, allowing not only UNHCR, but all authorized agencies to access large amounts of assessment data and understand the broader refugee situation in Jordan, including the most prevalent issues and needs across multiple sectors of aid. The program also manages a community-level health referral system in which Community Health Workers (CHWs) identify patients with healthcare needs and refer them to the Ministry of Health (MoH) or I/NGO clinics to receive available services.
CBSR II also engages and empowers urban refugees through community dialogue, decision-making and shelter enhancement. The program pairs with a number of Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and Community Support Committees (CSCs) to bring together diverse community representatives to discuss the major concerns and needs of the community and set action plans to address those needs. CSCs have facilitated a number of events, including awareness sessions on specific health issues, remedial education classes, skills-building workshops and social events. The program works with two CBOs in Amman and Zarqa that provide Syrian and Iraqi refugees working as commercial sex workers (CSWs) with essential services that improve and empower them to maintain their physical and mental well-being through improved awareness and access to services. Through counselors and peer educators, CSWs have access to psychosocial counselling, drop-in centers, medical testing for HIV/AIDS/STDs and pertinent health information.
Currently, the program is working to improve quality of life through home improvements for low-income Jordanian families in urban host communities struggling to accommodate refugee populations. Engineers assess targeted homes, identify repair needs, conduct costs assessments and develop case-by-case strategies to serve each household. These shelter rehabilitations, taking place in Southern governorates including Ma’an, Tafilah, Karak and Aqaba, materially and sustainably improve the quality of life for host communities.