Jordanians feel less safe since Syrian refugee crisis started — survey

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AMMAN — Jordanians have a lower sense of security than Syrians, a study aimed at measuring the impact of the Syrian crisis in Jordan has found. 

Released on Thursday by the Centre for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan (UJ), the study titled “Syrian Refugees in Host Communities” was conducted with the support of UJ’s Scientific Research Department and sought to study the perceptions Jordanians and Syrians have about each other, said Musa Shteiwi, head of the centre and the research team. 

Two-thousand Jordanians and Syrians living in Amman, Irbid, Zarqa and Mafraq participated in the survey that measured the impact that six years of asylum for the Syrians have had on both parties at the social, economic and security levels. 

Despite a generally positive sense of security felt in the community, Jordanians expressed a higher feeling of worry, the study showed. 

Eighty-two per cent of Jordanians feel safe during daytime compared to 88 per cent of Syrians, according to the study that added that 59 per cent of Jordanians believe security in the areas they live in will “decrease with the increase of Syrians living in that area”. 

For 64 per cent of Syrians, “life is safer in Jordan than in their home country”. 

The study indicated that 49 per cent of Jordanians believe that the existence of refugees outside the camps “highly threatens the security and stability of Jordan”. 

At the social level, the survey found that 90 per cent of Jordanians who report positive connections with Syrians had built those connections before the war. 

People are indulged socially with work and personal relations, which might affect the possibility of refugees’ return to Syria, Shteiwi highlighted. 

The survey found that 40 per cent of the Syrians interviewed for the survey would go back to their country if a ceasefire was established, while 32 per cent would go in case a political solution is reached. 

Fifty-one per cent of Jordanians and 53 per cent of Syrians expressed positive perceptions about each other before the crisis started. However, this ratio dropped to 27 per cent for Jordanians while it remained the same for Syrians. 

Around 7 per cent of Jordanians and Syrians said they had experienced disputes with the other party, 30 per cent of which happened because of competition over work opportunities and 27 per cent because “Jordanians were reluctant [when it comes] to coexistence with the refugees”. 

Seventy-seven per cent of Jordanian respondents said that the refugee influx is increasing pressure on the economy and services provided by the government. 

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