LWF has been active in Jordan since the 1950s, following the Palestinian refugee crisis of 1948. In 2012, LWF re-opened its program in Jordan to address the humanitarian needs of refugee populations from Syria fleeing the civil war. There are now over 4.3 million Syrian refugees in the region, with over 600,000 in Jordan alone. Since 2012, LWF has been expanding its response, and is now running a youth centre in Za'atari Camp, as well as implementing projects in host communities.

Program Overview

The Lutheran World Federation/Department for World Service (LWF/DWS) has been active in the Middle East since the 1950s, operating in both Palestine and Jordan in response to the Palestinian refugee crisis. The current Jordan program, which comprises 15 projects 2015, an operational office in Amman, 20 staff and a budget of EURO 3.7 mill, was set up in summer 2012. Since the beginning, the LWF has assisted refugees from the Syrian war and the Iraqi crisis accommodated in host communities and in camps, with the strategic objective of alleviating the consequences of the Syrian humanitarian situation in Jordan and upholding the dignity and rights of affected populations.

The “Peace Oasis” in the 5th district of the Zaatari camp has been a flagship for our camp community-based psycho-social intervention, targeting specifically youth aged 14 to 24, whereas a broad range of activities intended to increase resilience and promote stability have been targeted at the refugee population living outside of camps (currently around 82% of the total refugee population). Up to date, LWF has provided assistance to approximately 200,000 refugees and affected persons. 


Sectors of intervention

1. Protection: Psychosocial support, conflict mitigation, recreational and life skill activities.

2. Education: Rehabilitation and construction of schools and classrooms.

3. Shelter: Rehabilitation of dwellings of Syrian refugees.

4. Basic needs: Distribution of food vouchers to vulnerable households, unconditional Cash distribution to vulnerable Syrian households, distribution of non-food items including schools kits, school dresses and hygiene kits.

5. Winterization: Distribution for winterization including blankets, gas cylinders, gas heaters and gas refill coupons.

6. WASH: WASH Rehabilitation of Jordanian schools and dwellings of Syrian refugees, including awareness sessions on hygiene and distribution of hygiene vouchers to conflict effected peoples. 


In the period 2015 – 2017, LWF plans to continue assistance in the sectors of protection, shelter, education, basic needs, and WASH within Zaatari camp and in host communities with high percentages of Syrian refugees. In addition LWF has initiated a Cash Assistance project starting from November 2015 until mid-2016 targeting 454 households for assistance. Furthermore LWF will start two 4-year education projects in January 2016 to rehabilitate schools in Irbid and Amman Governorate to improve the physical and psychosocial environment for girls and boys attending the selected public schools.


Future perspectives

The main challenge is related to the protracted nature of the Syrian crisis and the need to identify medium- to long-term sustainable solutions for Syrian refugees and host communities in Jordan. This in a context where the funding will probably decrease and the needs will remain high. The national Jordanian legislation continues to impose certain restrictions on the humanitarian and development work, such as requiring that 30% of the aid is directed towards Jordanian beneficiaries, or banning Syrian refugees from seeking formal employment. LWF Jordan will begin preparation for its 2017-2021 country strategy which includes incite from partners, beneficiaries, government ministries and other actors in the region.   

Psycho-Social Support

About 80,000 Syrian refugees live in Za'atari camp, the second largest refugee camp in the world. The majority of them are children and youth, who have suffered the consequences of raging armed conflict in their home country. The psychological and emotional consequences of these experiences cannot be understated, and LWF has opened its own Youth Centre, the Peace Oasis, to provide a safe space for adolescents and youth. We run a number of activities designed to support refugee youth in the Peace Oasis: pyscho-social support group activities, conflict mitigation and non-violent communication workshops, recreational activities such as sports, arts and music, as well as informal education and life-skills activities for youth. 

Emergency Assistance

The Syrian conflict has been on-going for 5 years, and the humanitarian consequences of the war are disastrous for refugees and displaced populations. Syrian refugees in Jordan are not allowed to work, and lack the most basic items to live in a dignified and secure way. Their Jordanian neighbours are also facing dire conditions, and have been gravely impacted by the inflow of refugees, which has led to raising market prices and rental costs. UNHCR studies indicate high levels of economic vulnerability amongst Syrian refugees, and a new study by WFP indicates that Syrian households resorting to crisis or emergency coping strategies has doubled since 2014. LWF supports the most vulnerable households in Jordan by distributing monthly food vouchers to ensure that they have access to quality and nutritious food, and by distributing necessary items such as clothes, hygiene kits, winterization kits as well as providing cash assistance. 

Formal Education

LWF strongly believe the future of the region lies with its children and youth, and we are committed to ensuring the right to quality education for all. We work in under-served areas in the North of Jordan, and support the public education system by building new classrooms, to allow for increased enrollment of vulnerable children,  and by rehabilitating deteriorated schools, to give children the opportunity to learn in safe and healthy educational spaces, and to have access to clean and hygienic WASH facilities in schools. In addition LWF has distributed school bags, school kits and school uniforms to families with young children, who cannot afford to spend their low income on education items.