Where we work

JRS Middle East and North Africa is the newest region of the Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic organization sponsored by the Society of Jesus. Initially established in the Middle East to meet the needs of Iraqi refugees, JRS regionally now works predominantly with Syrians — both inside and outside of Syria. It offers a wide range of services, namely: emergency support in the form of food aid, shelter, non-food items, hygiene kits and basic medical support to people with chronic and terminal illnesses. Other services include educational and psychosocial support, especially to Syrian children, legal and medical referrals, family visits, and small livelihood projects. 

The conflict in Syria has displaced more than 12 million people – 3.8 million to neighbouring countries – and resulted in more than 220,000 deaths. More than half of the Syrian population are in need of assistance. Approximately 242,000 Syrians currently live in areas besieged by the government or opposition forces. 

In Iraq, 1.5 million have been internally displaced following the expansion of ISIS in 2014. In Ankawa and Ozal, JRS serves displaced families through home visits, psychosocial support and education. Diverse JRS work with Yazidis, Muslim and Christian Iraqis who are seeking safety in and around Erbil, northern Iraq. 

Working in cooperation with Jesuit networks, Muslim and other Christian entities, and secular organisations, JRS teams ensure civilians receive much needed support; however, this assistance is not sufficient to meet the escalating needs. 

In total, JRS serves more than 490,000 people in Syria and Iraq. JRS teams also work in Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey providing urgent assistance and educational and psychosocial support to different refugee and internally displaced communities. 


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Middle East and North Africa Return to All Regions
Press Contact Cedric Prakash SJ
Phone +961-1-332-601
Email middleeast.communications@jrs.net
Website http://www.jrsmena.org
Description In the Middle East, JRS began its work in 2008 in response to the huge number of Iraqi refugees fleeing the conflict in their country. Encouraged by the Jesuit Superior General, Adolfo Nicolás SJ, JRS went to Syria and Jordan in 2008. The following year saw expansion to Turkey, both a destination and major crossroads for refugees hoping to reach Europe or awaiting resettlement. Following the violent events in Syria from 2011 onwards, JRS has provided emergency relief to Syrians inside Syria.

Currently, JRS in the Middle East is serving refugees and internally displaced persons in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria; offering a range of services, from child and adult education to accompaniment and psycho-social support, from emergency assistance to advocacy for refugee rights. JRS serves people in need without distinction; Iraqis, Somalis, Sudanese, Syrians and others from different cultures and religions throughout the region have grown to trust JRS. The organisation in the Middle East region has gained the reputation of offering quality services and spreading a family spirit amongst the people served. The people attending the activities feel protected and welcomed.

Countries Iraq
Jordan
Lebanon
Syria
Turkey