Oxfam in Jordan

A small country with a population of 10.2 million, Jordan has for decades been a haven for refugees. The kingdom has absorbed waves of people fleeing regional crises since 1948 —including Palestinians, Iraqis and Syrians, among others. Jordan has few natural resources and is among the driest countries in the world; severe water scarcity is a challenge to development and makes Jordan highly sensitive to climate change.

The influx of Syrian refugees over the past decade has compounded existing challenges, including high unemployment and a burgeoning youth population. Currently, around 1.3 million Syrians live in Jordan, mostly in cities, increasing the demand for energy, education and health services and the pressure on infrastructure and resources.

Jordan emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic with unprecedented levels of unemployment, especially among young people and women, a worrying deterioration in a country where female labour force participation was already among the lowest in the world. Women in Jordan face barriers in accessing economic opportunities, protection and justice, and they have less access than men to income and resources.

Despite these challenges, Jordan has shown remarkable resilience, continuing to embody tolerance and stability in a turbulent region.

Oxfam in Jordan

Oxfam has been in Jordan since the 1990s. We work with local partners for a future where everyone can reach their full potential, especially women and young people. We provide essential humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees as well as vulnerable Jordanians, while promoting longer-term sustainable solutions to challenges facing Jordan.

Our work in Jordan focuses on three areas: economic justice, gender justice and climate justice. We use the evidence our projects generate to influence change at different levels – from behaviours to laws and policies -- in close coordination with other actors including the UN, local and international civil society and local authorities.


Climate Justice

We work to grow the capacity of Jordanians to respond to the shocks and stresses of climate change by supporting water conservation, helping to improve management of waste and promoting hygiene.

Oxfam pioneered the first household sorting of waste in Jordan. In Mafraq governorate and in Za’atari refugee camp, we operate recycling centres to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfills, keep the environment clean and help reduce greenhouse gases. This initiative provides temporary work for vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees, who collect and sort the waste.
Oxfam is one of the largest employers of Syrian refugees in Za’atari refugee camp.

We engage communities in our work and we campaign nationally to encourage people to reduce, reuse and recycle their waste. We also support Jordanian authorities to engage with communities about solid waste management. Alongside this, we innovate and experiment to find sustainable solutions to local challenges and to produce evidence to support the Jordanian government’s transition to a green economy.


temporary jobs created for vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian since 2020.


kilograms of waste collected between 2020-2022, of which 1.6M kilograms was recycled.


greywater systems installed in Za’atari refugee camp.

Gender Justice

Women are at the heart of everything we do at Oxfam. With our Jordanian women’s rights partners, we work for a future where all women can realise their life choices and enjoy their rights freely, without violence or fear. Areas of focus include gender-based violence, unpaid care work and the provision of legal aid.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we worked to make sure women at risk of violence could still access health and protection services. We supported shelters and hotlines run by our partners and provided cash to women at risk of violence to help them meet their basic needs.

Oxfam also works towards better access to Sexual and Reproductive Health services. We support local organizations to address harmful norms and behaviours that prevent women and other vulnerable groups from realising their rights and we advocate with stakeholders for better laws, policies and services to protect and empower women.

Economic Justice

Alongside our partners, we help Jordanians and refugees in all parts of the Kingdom to access jobs, start businesses and become entrepreneurs, especially women and young people. We do this through mentoring and vocational and technical training, and by improving access to information about economic opportunities. We also help social enterprises and small and medium-sized businesses create jobs through incubation, technical assistance and access to finance.

Through our research and advocacy work, we push for policies that are inclusive of refugees, women and people living with disabilities, and for decent, safe work and a living wage.

During the prolonged COVID-19 lockdown, Oxfam provided cash to help the poorest Jordanians and refugees buy food and other basic needs, using digital technology.

Over the past five years, more than 7,000 people have been employed because of Oxfam’s activities, nearly half of them female.
We’ve trained hundreds of women in soft and vocational skills and helped more than 100 women to start businesses.

Over the past five years, more than 7,000 people have been employed because of Oxfam’s activities, nearly half of them female.

We’ve trained hundreds of women in soft and vocational skills and helped more than 100 women to start businesses.

We’ve supported more than 300 enterprises, including 51 social enterprises who received 1.4million euros in grants.

Working with our partners, we’ve trained 28,000 young people, including 60% young women, in entrepreneurship and civic empowerment.