OPS opened its branch in Jordan in 2017 to facilitate its expanding activities in the Middle East (South Syria mainly). Currently, its operational focus lies on the Syrian border with Jordan, where large informal refugee settlements have sprung up since the closing of the border in March 2015. Due to security concerns, these settlements have been hard to reach for humanitarian organizations, leaving the people without food, medical, or other supplies.
In February 2017, OPS Jordan gained access to the settlement at the border crossing Hadalat, where approximately 4,000 people are stranded with nothing but the few belongings that they managed to take from their homes in Syria. Many of them have been living in this makeshift camp for almost a year now, and no end to their situation is in sight. People suffer from hunger and malnutrition, and are vulnerable to illnesses.
Utilizing its AID Card system, OPS has completed a comprehensive registration of the population. The registration showed that over 75% of the population are women and children, with children under the age of 15 taking up more than half of the population. Having laid the foundation for the implementation of humanitarian assistance, OPS Jordan is now working hard to launch structural aid operations to this remote desert land in Syria.
First priorities are food provision, in particular bread, and medical care. To answer to the multiple needs of the population, OPS aims to expand its programs to include other types of humanitarian assistance. As the people have been living in the camp for an extensive period, assistance in the areas of education, WASH, amongst others, and shelter is needed.
OPS Jordan has recently carried out its first bread distribution (see news feed), and is collecting funds to continue.