Polish Aid helps to fight the pandemic in the Zaatari refugee camp
This year’s humanitarian project run by the Polish Embassy in Amman aims to counteract the spread of infectious diseases in the camp-city of Zaatari.
Located in Jordan, 12 kilometres from the border with Syria, the Zaatari refugee camp is surrounded by a desert. Every entry is guarded by a military checkpoint. In eight years since its establishment in 2012, the camp has transformed into a settlement. It now has shops, surgeries, hospitals, and schools. All of this has been possible thanks to the support of many international organisations and individual countries. Over time, the Zaatari camp has become a platform for modern humanitarian aid. The focus has been on initiatives promoting independence of those who were forced out of their homes. Its residents use vouchers and cash cards. The camp has also cash machines equipped with refugee registration and identification systems using the isometric iris recognition technology. The UN and its agencies are present in the camp. Food is provided by the World Food Programme (the WFP), which on 8 October 2020 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Donors include Polish Aid and Polish non-govermental organisations, such as the Polish Medical Mission and Caritas Poland. Humanitarian aid is also brought by the Polish Embassy in Amman.
While Zaatari functions like a true settlement, it has not been spared by the coronavirus epidemic. This year’s Polish Aid humanitarian project aims to stop the spread of infectious diseases. The help is mainly addressed to the elderly and families with young pregnant women under the age of 18.
To this end, the Polish diplomatic mission has partnered with a Jordan non-governmental organisation, Jordan Health Aid Society (JHAS).
The project began by selecting a group of people who need the help offered by Polish Aid the most. Using a database run by UNHCR and the Ministry of Health of Jordan, a group of a thousand people was chosen, made up of persons who so far have not received help from other organisations. Those in need received packages containing hygiene products, such as protective masks, latex gloves, soap, disinfectant, disinfecting wipes, and washing liquid. Each package also contained information materials on how to use all the products. It is estimated that 5,000 to 10,000 people, that is the families of the recipients, will indirectly benefit from each package.