There is no question that the Syrian Civil War has created the largest refugee crisis since World War II–with huge consequences for the millions of people displaced from their homes, and for neighboring states like Jordan–which hosts more than 600,000 Syrian refugees.

However, war doesn’t discriminate. Since April 2023, fighting in Sudan has displaced approximately 7 million people–creating the largest refugee and internal displacement crisis on the African continent.

Participants of the Upcycling program at CRP’s Downtown Center.

Although not as close in proximity to Syria, Jordan hosts about 5,000 Sudanese refugees–many of whom fled violence in Darfur 20 years ago. The stories of minority refugee groups in Jordan–which include not just Sudanese, but also Iraqis, Yemenis, Somalis, Eritreans, and Ethiopians–are too often lost amid the enormity of the Syrian crisis.

Minority refugee groups encounter many challenges in Jordan. African children often face bullying in schools because they are Black. Refugees from these groups can’t access work permits. And since 2019, a directive from the Jordanian government has made it so the UN can’t register refugees who arrive on certain visas, which mostly affects people from these countries, who as a result can’t access proper protection.

In 2018, CRP opened its second center in Downtown Amman to help serve members of these communities, who live closer to that area of the city. The center has become a space for refugees of all backgrounds to channel their skills and experiences, learn, and find community. From language studies to gender-based violence prevention training to nutrition classes, our downtown programs bring together a diverse circle of nationalities to combat stigma and discrimination.

To learn more, listen to the latest episode of our podcast–Season 2, Episode 3: Jordan and the ‘One Refugee Approach.’ Two members of our community from Sudan and Yemen share their personal accounts of life in Jordan. Their stories are full of challenges, but also hope that communal effort can make tomorrow better.

Zach Goodwin

Communications & Fundraising Intern