With human migration, often the nations with the least to spare become hosts to the most refugees.
Two prime examples of the pattern are Jordan and Lebanon. Both nations have fewer than 10 million citizens and neither nation is rich with oil or other natural resources. Yet, nearly one in every five people living in Lebanon today is a refugee. In Jordan, one in ten is a refugee.
The weight of hosting so many refugees has become even more challenging for both nations in 2021.
A Lag in Tourism
In Jordan, the economy has dried up because the pandemic continues to keep tourists away. Tourism is the core of Jordan’s economy. The country manufactures very little and imports much. Its greatest resources are natural beauty and the historic sites that draw visitors who feed billions into the economy.
As a result, a quarter of all Jordanians are unemployed and half of young adults are unable to find work, according to World Bank reports.
“People are getting angry, and they are getting by with the minimum,” Good Shepherd Center founder the Rev. Haytham Mazahreh said. “Yet we host refugees from 57 nations. They come here because at least it is far better than Lebanon or Egypt.”
Unique Challenges in Lebanon
Even with the hardships, Jordan is in much better shape than nearby Lebanon. Long-standing corruption and a lengthy political stalemate left the nation unable to respond to the nation’s economic freefall. Failure to reform has ended international assistance.
Now, the nation cannot keep the power on, so people cannot work. All government subsidies for essential imports ended months ago, so prices have soared. And shortages of fuel and necessities create hurdles to normal daily life.
Please pray for our partners to once again have peace and stability in their homelands. Please also support their work. When you support their schools for refugees, you create hope and stability.