few of the Iraqi families that the mission met included children staying at home who were being pressured by their parents to work.
Access to services and community outreach
Access to services for Iraqis is mostly limited to the assistance programs implemented by the UN, international and national NGOs. It is estimated that current health services (those of NGOs, the UN system, and UN partners including some national NGOs and the Jordanian Red Crescent) reach some 40,000 to 60,000 Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers out of the total asylum seeker population of approximately 450,000 to 500,000.
Outreach to the community is difficult, since refugees are dispersed among the urban population, living confined to their own family. It is thought that large numbers of vulnerable individuals are not reached by the services available. The mission heard from at least two agencies working with needy Iraqis that Iraqis living in Zarqa for example have great difficulty filling their prescriptions because they cannot afford to travel to the Italian Hospital in Amman.
At present, most services are provided out of community/ health care centers, requiring that potential beneficiaries are informed, able and willing to go to the community centre. Mobile outreach teams are beginning to function in the community, trying to identify vulnerable individuals who are unable to come to the community/ health care centers.
Mercy Corps found that 88% of the Iraqis surveyed knew of at least one service provider to whom they could go; the best known service provider among those interviewed was Caritas, as 81% knew of them. CARE was the next most frequently mentioned (11%), followed by the Red Crescent Society (5%) and Tikiyet Um Ali (2%). Sixty-six percent of the Iraqis surveyed were receiving services from at least one provider. Of those receiving services, 73% were receiving medical services, 20% were receiving food, household items and clothing, while only 5% were receiving financial assistance.
The services available are predominantly in Amman with very limited services in the other regions of the country. Plans are currently underway by Caritas, for example, to open service centers in Irbid in the north, in cooperation with Terre des Hommes, and in Karak in the south, in cooperation with the Rosary Sisters.
The services provided are concentrated in the health, education and humanitarian assistance sectors. The services that Iraqis report being in most need of are medicine and health services (82%) and a medical center (13%). In the social service sector, they mentioned awareness and counseling (42%), educational courses (23%) and employment /financial services (21%). 11
East Amman Survey of Iraqis, CDC-Mercy Corps, September 2007.
Report of the ICMC / USCCB Mission – Protection Needs in Jordan