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Iraqi Asylum Seekers in Jordan - page 10 / 36





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  • loss of role identity

  • withdrawal from school

  • lack of participation

  • lack of trust

“These are normal reactions to abnormal historical, political, ethical, security related and social causes... As such they are not of clinical concern, and are not to be considered pathologies or indicators of syndromes. However they represent issues, needs and wounds that require responses, in order to stimulate individual and collective coping capacities, and avoid endemic stagnations which might have mid and long term negative effects on individuals and societies, resulting in individual and social pathologies.”12

Even though this study focused on Iraqi IDPs in Iraq, the same psychosocial uneasiness can also be seen among Iraqi asylum seekers in Jordan.

One of the main family problems identified is the increased prevalence of domestic violence. This is thought to be due to the lack of status, lack of employment and therefore the diminished ability to provide for the family, meaning a loss of role identity, especially for the head of household, of whom 80% are male, leading to depression, frustration and anger. This anger is unleashed in families because the community network has been weakened: fewer friends and traditional social connections and networks present in a familiar, functioning, stable community.

In addition, one in five Iraqis has been a victim of torture and 22% report having experienced a personal traumatic event. Of the Iraqi children surveyed in Amman, 43% reported witnessing violence in Iraq and 39% say they lost someone close through violence13.

UNICEF stated that the two of the principal challenges in the psychosocial realm is the need to build the capacity of local providers to deliver quality services and the lack of coordination among actual or potential providers of psychosocial services. UNICEF indicates that there are 20 NGOs interested in this area. A regular psychosocial coordination meeting chaired by Save the Children involves broad agency participation, including UNHCR and UNICEF. Topics of discussion include agency activities, including assessments and the IASC guidelines. However, there has been some disagreement on whether to focus on short-term or long-term objectives and to date the meetings have not been very effective in coming to a workable agreement among the providers.

Lack of adequate health care

The Mercy Corps/CDC study found that 62% of Iraqis they interviewed suffered from health problems. The most common problems were high blood pressure and diabetes (33%), arthritis and back problems (15%) and eye problems (12%).

The Fafo study reports that there is a higher percentage of chronic illness among Iraqis (11%) in Jordan than among Jordanians (8%). UNHCR and other agencies including ICMC/Caritas EVI staff, mentioned the surprising frequency of cancer cases that are being reported. The chief of the hematology and oncology department at the King Hussein Cancer Center in Amman reported

12 13 IOM, Psychosocial Status of IDP Communities in Iraq, September 2005 Women’s Commission for Refugee Women & Children : Iraqi Refugee Women and Youth in Jordan : Reproductive Health Findings, September 2007

Report of the ICMC / USCCB Mission – Protection Needs in Jordan


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