Remember Us is a feature documentary revealing the untold stories of Gaza refugees as a ripple effect of the long-lasting conflict between Palestine and Israel

The following information is a excerpt from the "Assistance to Ex-Gaza refugees in Jerash Camp, Jordan; Survey Report" compiled by the EU (European Union) and UNRWA (United Nations Relief Work Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) as of 2007.

Legal Constrains

Ex-Gazans lack of citizenship is translated into several legal restrictions that limit their rights and contribute to their vulnerable living conditions, these include:

  1. Restriction to their participation in the political sphere.

  2. Restrictions to their participation in the labour market.

  3. Restrictions to their access to education services (Post secondary studies).

  4. Restrictions to receiving financial and social services provided by the government.

  5. Restrictions to owning a property.

Recently, a royal decree improved ex-Gazans’ access to health services provided by the government.

For more info about legal constrains, please visit the Legal Status page.

Population and Household Composition

  1. Population of Jerash camp is 17,702, 9.8% of the residents are registered with UNRWA as Special Hardship Cases (SHC).

  2. Population density in Jerash camp is 23,602 persons/km2 compared to 409.8 persons/km2 in the Jerash governorate and 63.1 persons/km2 in Jordan.

  3. Jerash camp is characterized by a population pyramid age-sex structure that is dominated by the young which is a classic example of a population with high past fertility and mortality and current high growth rates.

  4. The dependency ratio for Jerash camp is 88% compared to 68% for Jordan.

  5. The total fertility rate of Jerash camp population (4.1) is higher than that of Jordan (3.2)

    and Palestine refugees in Jordan (3.3).

  6. The largest households, those with at least 10 members, constitute 18% of the households

    in the camp. As many as 34% of the camp population belong to such large households.

  7. Extended families constitute 19.6% of the households in which around 35% of the

    families live; the average number of families living in a household in Jerash camp is 1.24

  8. Average household size and average family size for the population of Jerash camp is 6.61 and 5.32 respectively, which is above the average for Palestine refugees living in Jordan

    and for Jordan.


Educational level of Jerash camp population who are above 15 years of age and currently not enrolled in the schools

  1. The illiteracy rate among this group (15 years age and above) is considered high, the percentage of illiterate in Jerash camp is twice that in Jordan (13.8% compared to 7.5% respectively). Illiteracy among females is much higher than that among males in the camp (20.3% and 7.4% respectively).

  2. The majority of this group have either completed their basic education or left during the preparatory cycle (31%)

  3. The percentage of those who pursue their post-secondary education is 13.2% in the camp compared to 22% in Jordan.

  4. Children (6-18) constitute 34% of Jerash camp population, 9.1% of this group is not currently enrolled in school or vocational training (5.0% males and 4.1% females). Among those not enrolled, 65.3% are in the age category 16-18, 27.9% in the age group 12-15 and 6.7% in the age group 6-11. This group represent a very vulnerable group subjected to drugs, abuse and different types of misconduct.

  5. Reasons for non-enrolment varied, the main reason expressed by the residents is losing interest in school (67.9%), other reasons cited include low academic performance (21.4%) and economic situation and need to work (9.1%), and getting married (1.3%), staying at home to help in household (0.4%), the order does not change among males and females. Additional reasons mentioned during semi-structured interviews include tough treatment by the parents to force children to study, bad peer influence, lack of follow-up by parents and poverty and difficult socio-economic conditions.
  6. Around 56.1% of those not enrolled in school are currently at home to support husband/family or doing nothing. 34.7% are looking for a job, 8.0% has a job and the remaining either enrolled in the CBRC or vocational training.

  7. Most of those not enrolled in school (76.0%) are not interested in going back to school.


  1. Relative poverty is the basic measure used in the report to define poverty

  2. Relative poverty is based on median income, with the poor being defined as those who fall below 50% of the median income. The “very poor” are those occupying the lowest income quintile.

  3. Absolute poverty measure is also used at the level of $1 and $2 per equivalent individual per day

  4. The average monthly income of households in Jerash camp is $217 compared to $360 for Palestine refugees in Jordan. The average monthly income decreases by 14% if assistance through transfers is not included.

  5. The average monthly income per equivalent individual for Jerash camp is much lower than that for refugees in Jordan ($61% compared to $91 respectively). The amount is less without transfer, $47 for Jerash camp and $65 for refugees in Jordan.

  6. The ratio between the richest and the poorest deciles in Jerash camp is 11.6, this indicate the size of inequality in the camp.

  7. When dividing the camp population to 5 income quintiles, the average income of the lowest and lower-mid income quintiles is $80 and $122 per household respectively.

  8. When studying the source of income, income from wages constitutes the biggest portion of income among all income quintiles, however the proportion increases with quintile in ascending order. Proportion of income from transfer decreases as we move from the lowest to highest income quintiles.

  9. Income from irregular work decreases as we move from lowest to highest income quintiles, meanwhile income from steady employment increases.

  10. Families headed by females are slightly more exposed to poverty than families headed by males.

  11. The average family size increases steadily as we move from highest to lowest income quintile.

  12. The relative poverty line for Jerash camp is $33 per equivalent individual per month (50% of the median monthly income). Based on this, 33% of the camp population lives under poverty line, this number reflect the income of Jerash camp after transfer. Before transfer, the percentage increases to 42%.

  13. Looking into absolute poverty, 64% of the camp residents live under the poverty line of $2 per equivalent individual per day and 27% live under the poverty line of $1 per equivalent individual per day.

  14. Coping strategies do not vary among the different income quintile as the living conditions are poor for most of the camp residents.

  15. The majority of families (97%) stated that they have no savings.

Access to Credit Lending

Although there are no direct legal restrictions on the ex-Gazans in terms of credit lending, there are underpinned restrictions that limits their access to credit lending.

  1. Around 10% of the camp families have taken loans during the 2 years prior to the survey. Women accounts for 30% of the total number of loans taken but only 14% of the total value of loans

  2. Private Banks and friends and families are the two main providers of loans in the camp followed by UNRWA. This pattern is valid for men; women on the other hand choose to go with UNRWA and Microfunds for Women (An NGO).

  3. The largest proportion of loan takers belong to families that are located in the highest and high-mid income quintiles.

  4. Reasons for taking the loans varied, the main reason is to repair and improve the shelters (34%) which is true for both men and women. The percentage of women who took loans for the purpose of investing in a business or income-earning activities is twice than that of men.
  5. Up to 77% of the loan takers stated that they are encountering problems in paying back their loans.  

Labour force participation and employment rates

  1. The labour force participation rate of Jerash camp population (47%) is higher than that of Jordan (41%) and Jerash Governorate (41%). However, the rate is lower than that of Palestine refugees in Jordan (51%), the Middle East (56%) and worldwide. The participation rate of men in the camp is 3 times that of women (72% and 24% respectively).

  2. Men and women cited different reasons for not participating in the labour force. The main reasons given by women are care for their household, preference not to work and disapproval by the family. On the other hand, men indicated that health problems and being too old are the two main reasons for not participating in the labour force.

  3. Labour force participation is highest for the age groups 25-34 and 35 -44.

  4. Educational level has a relatively positive effect on labour force participation. For women, the positive relationship is clear cut which indicates the importance of education for women.

  5. Unemployment rate for Jerash camp population is extremely high reaching 39% which is at least 2.8 times that of Palestine refugees in Jordan, Jordan and Jerash Governorate. Women are more exposed to unemployment than men (81% and 25% respectively).

  6. With respect to the different age groups, unemployment rate is highest for Youth (around 60%).

  7. There is no relationship between education level and unemployment rate.

  8. Long-term unemployment for Jerash camp population is extremely high compared to that of refugees in Jordan (65% and 33% respectively). Women are more exposed to long-term unemployment than men.

  9. The employment ratio of Jerash camp population is low compared to that of refugees in Jordan (29% and 44% respectively). Educational level has a positive effect on employment ratio. The employment ratio is highest for the age groups 25-34 and 35 -44.

  10. Looking into employment structure by education level for Jerash camp, the least educated constitute the highest proportion of those employed. This pattern is valid for men but not for women where the largest proportion is for those with bachelor degree.
  1. Around 56% of the employed in Jerash camp are self employed, UNRWA and the private sector accounts for 31% of the Jobs. The percentage of women self employed is much lower than that of men (31 % and 58% respectively).

  2. 32% percent of those employed work on part-time basis, time related unemployment for men (17%) is higher than that for women (11%).

  3. Discouraged workers constitute 7% of the economically inactive population in the working age.

Housing Conditions

  1. Living Conditions in the camp are aggravated by the overcrowding; larger households are proportionally more likely to face overcrowding. 74% of the households that have at least 10 members are overcrowded.

  2. Households located in the lowest and lower income quintiles are more vulnerable to overcrowding.

  3. 45% of the households perceive their shelters as being in bad condition.

  4. The percentage of households perceived as in bad conditions increases as we move from the highest to the lowest income quintiles.

  5. Zink and asbestos sheets are by far the most commonly used roofing material in the camp (65%).

  6. The percentage of shelters with Zink and asbestos roofing increases as we move from the highest to the lowest income quintiles.

  7. The most frequent problems encountered by the households are roof leaking, water coming through the walls and shelter floods (67%, 57% and 39% respectively).

  8. Electricity and water reaches most of the households.

  9. When asked about the problems encountered in the camp, most of the camp residentsreported the lack of proper sewage connection (84%) and lack of sufficient heating in the winter (64%) as the biggest problems. Furthermore 54% stated that they suffer from overcrowded shelters.

Priority needs

  1. 98% of the families identified “assistance in finding Jobs” as a priority. This was followed by “assistance in establishing a small business” (92%), “Public park” (89%), “Legal counselling” (88%) and “a playground” (81%).

  2. In another question where families were given the chance to identify their own needs, environmental and infrastructure ( i.e. sewage system, shelters, roads and streets, etc) and economic related issues (reduction of unemployment, living conductions and reduction of poverty, establishment of industrial projects, etc) were identified as priority by the respondents.


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