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World Refugee Day: Ahmed’s story

Ahmed volunteering with Action Against Hunger in the Azraq refugee camp. Jordan © Florian Seriex

Today is World Refugee Day. There are currently 65 million refugees in the world – the highest number of refugees there has ever been in history. At Action Against Hunger, we stand with refugees every day. Today we are highlighting the story of Ahmed and his journey.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been regrouping at the border of Syria and Jordan since July 2014. They are trying to escape the war; the bombs, the fighting, with only one idea in mind: to live in peace. Ahmed spent six months there until his recent transfer to a refugee camp in Jordan, where he is now a volunteer for Action Against Hunger.

“I arrived in Jordan on April 26th 2016, 6 months after leaving my village of Mahin, located in between Homs and Palmyre. It took me four days to get to the border of Rukban, but I did not get across until after I had been there for 6 months.”

Ahmed left Syria long after the conflict began.

“Things were fairly quiet where I lived until August 2015,” he said. “That’s when my village was seized.” Fighting quickly escalated, and there was no solution for him but to leave.

Unfortunately, he didn’t find the peace he sought in Rukban.

“It was extremely disorganized there,” he explained. “There were fights, there were attacks — but most importantly, there wasn’t enough water and food for everyone.”

Finally, he was able to enter Jordanian territory. He was immediately transferred to Azraq, where Action Against Hunger is in charge of all sanitation stations for people arriving from Berm. Not long after, Ahmed decided to become a volunteer with the organization.

It has now been two weeks since he has been a volunteer at the camp. He goes to all the port-a-potties, checking that all the doors close and that the sanitation stations are indeed just that – sanitary.

The Jordanian government has recently started to re-open certain sectors for Syrian refugees, but in the camps themselves access to work is still very limited. In camps such as the one in Azraq, a cash-for-work system is running. The volunteer work schedule functions on a rotating schedule in order to include the most people

Thanks to Action Against Hunger, every month dozens of refugees get to benefit from a source of revenue while also assisting in the maintenance of sanitation infrastructures at the Azraq camp.

Action Against Hunger is engaged with refugee communities, host communities, and local and global humanitarian partners around the world to meet urgent humanitarian needs of refugees — and to advocate for their protection and wellbeing. We will continue to work where the needs are greatest in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, and Iraq to provide nutrition, water and sanitation, food security  and livelihoods, and psychosocial support. Help us support refugees around the world: 

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