Jordan and Nigeria Refugee Situation comparison

A refugee is a person who has fled his country because he is afraid of being persecuted because of his nationality, race, faith, or affiliation with a specific social group or political viewpoint. Because of this dread, a refugee is hesitant to present himself/herself to the security of that nation; or who, without having a nationality and being outside their former characteristic abode as a result of such anxieties, is unable or unable to return to it (Biedermann, 2017). In some European nations, such as the United Kingdom, an individual is considered a refugee when they file a formal asylum claim and have their request recognized by the government. Refugees are different from asylum seekers.

According to Verwimp, &Maystadt, (2015) an asylum seeker is defined as an individual who has left their republic of origin and officially sought for asylum in a different nation but whose request has not yet been accepted. Refused asylum seekers are persons whose asylum application has been declined by a host nation and who have no legitimate claim for fortification while in anticipation of a decision. Some refused asylum seekers voluntarily return to their country; whole others are forcibly returned while for others deportation is not an option owing to prevalent conditions in their country. Author Verwimp, &Maystadt, (2015) also defines internally displaced persons as people who have been forced to flee from their homes but who remain in his/her countries borders. They are normally referred to as refugees even though they do not fall directly under the UNHCR's legal definition of a refugee.

2. Body


1. General Data

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is located in Southwest Asia, Middle East. The country borders Syria, Saudi Arabia, Israel, and Philistine and has a coastline (Gulf of Aqaba). The climate of the country is tropical arid. Jordan gained its independence in 1946. It has three distinct ethnic groups; Arabs, Armenians, and Circassian. Religious affiliation includes Christianity and Islam. The Jordanian currency is dinar, and the annual inflation rate is 3%. The country’s GDP stands at USD 1510 per Capita. Jordan on average records GDP growth of 1%. Major economic activities include agriculture, mining, and industry. The traffic communication network within the country includes railways, vehicles, roads, telephones, radio and the internet. Jordan has unique landmarks such as the Dead Sea, river Jordan, Mt. JabalRamm and the Ard as Sawwan desert.

2. Politics

Author Smetana, Ahmad, & Wray-Lake, (2016) argues that if Jordan is to address its national issues and still provide a safe sanctuary for Syrian refugees then, the nation will depend on better global support and aid. The growing Syrian refugee emergency has aggravated widespread economic, resource and political issues in Jordan. As the Syrian conflict go into a prolonged nation and public dissatisfaction and other forms of tension arise, Jordan has restricted its humanitarian aid to Syria. The root of the Nation's issues are profounder than the prevailing refugee disaster and if not addressed can harbor variability. If Jordan is to address its national issues and still provide refuge to Syrian refugees then it will require aid from the international community.

3. Economics

Syrian refugee flood to Jordan has remained massive. After June 2015, more than 620,000 refugees have sought asylum in a UNCHR agency in Jordan. And approximately 84% of the Syrian refugees are in host communities rather than being in refugee camps.

Syrian refugees have strained resource and economic structures in Jordan, which previously had concerns even before the refugee predicament.

The Jordanian public regularly exaggerates the negative impacts of the Syrian refugee flood, while the benefits get far less consideration than is due and this illustrated the politicization of the issue of Syrian refugees in Jordan.

The Jordanian government is challenged with obstinately underfunded humanitarian requests; the nation has lost assurance in international donors’ aid and sustenance. Without benefactor aid and supportable response to the refugee calamity, Jordan will continue to limit the security space from Syria.

2.2 Nigeria 1. General Data

The Federal Republic of Nigeria is an African State that is located in West Africa. The Country’s capital is Abuja. Nigeria gained its independence from the U.K in 1960. Nigeria is rich in natural resources, with the country being one of Africa’s chief oil exporters. The Nigerian Government, however, continues to face a lot of challenges in reforming the oil industry and also institutionalizing. Nigeria, however, faces ethical and religious tensions. Borders include Niger, Benin, Cameroon, and Chad. The country has a coastline border (Atlantic Ocean). Nigeria’s climate is tropical. Nigeria has 12 tribes, and religious affiliation is Islam, Christianity, Protestant, indigenous beliefs and Catholics. The Nigerian currency is the naira. The county’s annual inflation rate stands at 29%. 34% of the population lives below poverty lines. The Gross Domestic Product stands at USD 920 per capita. The nation has an annual growth Domestic product of -0.4%. Economic activities include agriculture, mining, trade, and industry. The traffic communication network within the country includes railways, vehicles, roads, telephones, radio and the internet.

2.Political Issues

The recent refugee crisis in Europe and the Arab world has shifted focus from sub-Saharan Africa. But a new report documented by the United Nations refugee agency, UNHCR has revealed that the situation in African in 2015 was severely grim. A recent report from the UNHCR titled ‘Global Trends: Forced Displacement 2015’ portrays a devastating picture of the worldwide refugee crisis. Approximately, 65 million persons have been displaced globally due to persecution, war, human rights violation and violence. These figures are at an all-time high since the inception of the UNHCR in 1950. In the western hemisphere, most of the displaced persons originate from Nigeria are victims of the prevailing fight between the Nigerian government and Boko Haram militias how have conquered northeastern Nigeria and made that region an Islamic state. The government and the militants are engaged in constant battle control in specific cities in Nigeria.

From the Report, the most affected continent is Africa. From the report, approximately 16 million persons have been displaced or forced to seek asylum in other countries. UNHCR that this number has increased by 1.5 million in one year alone. From the 16 million refugees 10.7 million of them are IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons), and the remaining 5.2 million were people who fled their countries to other nations. The vast majority of the 5.2 million refugees, approximately 4.4 million have sought asylum in neighboring nations.

3.Economic Issues

The refugee crisis has strained the financial capabilities of the host nation. The influx of refugees tend to constrain economic resources because the budget must allocate money to the welfare of the refugees. Approximately 140,000 African refugees have fled to a small town, Monguno, to evade persecution from Islamic extremist group Boko Haram. Which has carried out numerous massacres of civilians and abduction of roughly 500 girls and women in its five-year revolution in Nigeria (Papadaki, 2017). Papadak (2017) states that the refugee crisis in North-east Nigeria is more severe that any migration influx the whole of Europe has experienced in recent years. He argues that nearly 40% more refugees have been displaced throughout the Boko Haram state in North-eastern Nigeria. This number is approximately 1.4 million which is 400,000 more than the refugees that fled to Europe in 2015. Across the entire region, the fight against Boko Haram militias has resulted in the displacement of more than 2.6 million people from their homes. This figure is more than that of the Syrians in Turkey.


1.Are there any other countries that might serve as a model for the problems of Jordan or Nigeria?

A United Nation Refugee Chief, Antonio Guterres states that the volume of persons fleeing their Islamist militants, Boko Haram have developed a refugee crisis that is akin to the refugee condition carried out by the Syrian civil war. A deficit of international donation and aid is challenging the United Nation's ability to alleviate the state. The UNHCR agency chief stated this on his visit to Cameroon where approximately 75,000 Nigerians have escaped persecution by the Boko Haram. Refugees in a northern camp in Cameroon at Minawao welcomed the UN chief and presented loud calls for international aid to help alleviate their illness, hunger, and thirst. In this camp alone, the number of refugees has nearly doubled in a span of one year from 17,000 to an approximate 33,000. The UN chief states that the UN has requested $71 million from the international community to help lessen the refugee situation in Jordan and Nigeria but so far had only gotten $6.8 million in donations which will have a minimal effect on the global refugee crisis (Smetana, Ahmad, & Wray-Lake, 2016).

2.Similarities between refugee issues in Jordan and Nigeria

Another similarity between the refugee situations in Jordan and Nigeria is that in both cases camps masses of refugee influx stretch the means of the camps beyond their capability to meet refugee demands. Water is the most significant thing that these camps urgently need. Nigerian refugees are forced to travel 2-3 kilometers in search of water and carry the water on their heads (Pace, 2017). Women are not robust enough to convey 20 liters of water that far but they do it anyway because circumstances dictate it. Also, these camps experience shortfall of adequate food, and this leads to food rationing which in turn takes a toll on the children living in these camps. The Minawao camp is attending to 362 children with extreme malnutrition. Medical practitioners are only permitted to give free medical aid to children between the age of six months and five years.

The Nigerian government is mired with issues of corruption and ethnic tension. The ethical tension has fostered hostilities between different factions in the country along religious lines. The government’s inability to coil this tension has enabled Boko Haram to use this to incite people to violence (Adesoji, 2010).

3.Are these differences impacted by the type of government existing in each country?

The Jordanian government, on the other hand, has been able to handle internal affairs effectively. Jordan has been able to manage resources better and unite the people and is now in a position to offer solace to Syrian refugees. The Nigerian government has been overwhelmed by the refugee epidemic in the country and heavily relies on international assistance. Jordan, on the other hand, has been able to manage its resources better and provided adequate services to Syrian refugees.

From UNHCR spokesperson, Karin de Gruijl stated that there is need to relocate the refugees displaced from Nigeria away from the border to more secure camps inland because of constant fear of attacks from Boko Haram militia. Violence and instability that in Syria and Nigeria has caused a flood of people to flee and seek asylum in Jordan and Cameroon. On the other hand, Jordan has been able to restrict the borders and this in a way ensures the safety of refugees in Syrian borders.

The UN seems to largely focus on the humanitarian crisis in the Syria and Iraq, but it is becoming clear that the events that are happening in Nigeria are now just as grim. The crisis in Nigeria is just as worse and necessitates the same level of commitment and the same type of commitment from the global community.

4. General recommendations for Jordan? For Nigeria?

One way to address this crisis according to Burns, (2017) is monetary aid. International donors of the UNHCR program need to accept the concept that the best strategy to aid refugees is to give them money rather than simply offering tents and foods. A study by the Overseas Development Institute 2015 concluded that greater use of cash assistance. This Institute documented that monetary transfers give people options and make the humanitarian aid process more accountable to persons who require the support. Monetary transfers also have the ability to create opportunity through the global expansion of monetary services (Ørnholt, Maier, &Schleihagen, 2016). Less than 6% of humanitarian aid is given out as some form of money. It is important to note that giving cash is not applicable to all scenarios, but in functioning financial markets, it can be a very effective tool.

Another technique that can aid countries in dealing with the refugee crisis is giving refugees an opportunity to earn a decent living. Uganda is the optimal example of this case. Uganda has the eight-largest number of refugees in the world, illustrated the benefits of seeing refugees as productive citizens (Ostrand, 2015). Over 500,000 refugees from different nations live there. According to Ostrand, (2015), the country has allocated a plot where the refugees have been given permission to conduct legitimate business. They can use public transportation and send their children to public schools. This technique is very effective since 78% of the refugees have no need for aid and only 1% are completely dependent on aid.

Another strategy that nations can use to deal with the refugee crisis is to bring into close alignment the interests of the refugees and host communities. The word bank ought to deliver major economic support to nations that host refugees. The World Bank's president, Jim Yong Kim agrees with this request stating that there is need to offer financial assistance to nations that harbor large numbers of refugees. Such mandate needs to link local and economic development directly with humanitarian support (Ostrand, 2015). To this effect, the World Bank is leading projects that support Lebanon and Jordan with special loans that come with much lower interests and have longer grace periods. The World Bank is using grants from Donors to lower interest payment on loans to Lebanon and Jordan. The World Bank is trying to raise $1 billion from donors so it can be in a position to give $3 billion in concessional loans.

Lastly, the humanitarians working in countries facing refugee crisis need to channel their determination towards achieving a number on specific clear and realistic outcomes. The former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon wrote a report, "One Humanity, Shared Responsibility" where he referred to the need for a system that brings various organization with dissimilar concerns together, he called for shared results that are approachable, quantifiable, clear and measurable (Ørnholt, Maier, &Schleihagen, 2016). This strategy is set to help professionals to make use of shared intelligence in achieving a similar objective.

3. Conclusion

It is important for all relevant stakeholders to examine what type of support offers the maximum value for money. This seems obvious, but to date, there have only been 100 assessments on the effects of aid practices and policies in war-torn areas when likened to 4,000 assessments performed on the support to third world countries. This implies that organizations are relying on their intuition rather than research evidence. It is necessary for the UN and the international community to implement new and better ideas if they are to alleviate the prevailing refugee crisis globally. The recommendations have provided in depth, ways that this can be achieved giving instances of countries where this some techniques were effective. The UN, International Community, and World Bank must, therefore, implement such new strategies in order to find a lasting solution to the refugee crisis.


Baines, E. K. (2017). Vulnerable bodies: Gender, the UN and the global refugee crisis. Routledge.

Biedermann, R. (2017). Towards global management on flight and migration? A comparison of refugee politics in Europe and Asia. Asian Journal of German and European Studies, 2(1), 8.

Burns, J. J. (2017). Preventing the World’s Next Refugee Crisis.

Ørnholt, R., Maier, S., &Schleihagen, B. (2016). Library Service to Refugees and Immigrants.

Ostrand, N. (2015). The Syrian refugee crisis: A comparison of responses by Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. J. on Migration & Hum. Sec., 3, 255.

Pace, M. (2017). Refugee “Crisis” Brings out Denmark’s best and… Worst: Special Issue on THE REFUGEE CRISIS AND ANTI-MIGRATION PARTIES: THE CHANGING REGIONAL CONTEXTS IN EUROPE, co-guest edited by AndreyMakarychev and Stefano Braghiroli (University of Tartu). Geopolitics.

Papadaki, S. (2017). Refugees: The humanitarian logistics of a crisis situation.

Smetana, J. G., Ahmad, I., & Wray-Lake, L. (2016). Beliefs about parental authority legitimacy among refugee youth in Jordan: Between-and within-person variations. Developmental psychology, 52(3), 484.

Verwimp, P., &Maystadt, J. F. (2015). Forced displacement and refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa: An economic inquiry.

Adesoji, A. (2010). The Boko Haram Uprising and Islamic Revivalism in Nigeria/Die Boko-Haram-Unruhen und die Wiederbelebung des Islam in Nigeria. Africa Spectrum, 95-108.

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