The Jordan Refugee Perception Survey (Wave II) took place in May.
The sample included 3,216 Jordanians from Amman (1754), Irbid (925), Karak (273) and Mafraq (264). The survey tool itself was designed by UNHCR.
Respondents were first asked to indicate whether they were sympathetic to people who come to Jordan to escape conflict and persecution on the grounds of race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, affiliation. to a particular social group or political opinion as well as those seeking better economic opportunities. and a better future for themselves and their children.
Respondents maintained the pattern of their tendency towards refugees in Jordan, as illustrated by the results of wave 1 in October-2020, where they indicated in May-2021 that they are more “very sympathetic” towards those who escape conflict and persecution (56%) than those who come to Jordan to seek better economic opportunities (32.4%). But it should be noted that there is a notable drop estimated at over 6 points, when talking about those who are “very sympathetic” to those who are looking for better economic opportunities and a better future in May-2021.
When asked about the government’s approach to refugees, respondents seemed to agree that the Jordanian government’s approach to refugees was positive (79%) with a decrease that can be observed of almost 4 points in May-2021 compared to wave 1 results and 89% of respondents rated the Jordanian government’s response to refugees as “too sufficient”, “very sufficient” or “somewhat sufficient”, comparing this result with wave 1 in October-2020, we We can observe that there is a considerable increase for those who rated the Jordanian government as “too sufficient” or “very sufficient”, estimated by 9 points and 7 points, respectively. It goes hand in hand and shows a relatively unified view of what the government has and still offers refugees.
The majority of respondents coincided with how they described the Jordanian public perception of refugees. As when asked how they would describe the Jordanian public’s perception of refugees, 63% responded positively with a drop of 1.2 points in May-2021 compared to October-2020, and when then asked them what their opinion was on the refugees in Jordan, 46% said they were empathetic towards them, 18% said they had been forced to leave their country of origin, 9% had a positive opinion and 3% showed they needed help.
Respondents were then asked to what extent they agree or disagree with a number of statements. 95% of respondents agreed with the statement that “there are too many refugees in Jordan”, 86% said they agreed with the statement that “Jordan has done more than ‘she didn’t need to support refugees’, and 74% think Jordan should focus on helping Jordanians, not refugees. This gives a negative indicator as to the direction Jordanians’ opinion might take, especially given the economic circumstances. To make matters worse, 72% believe that refugees receive more aid than Jordanians. Looking in more detail at how different demographics responded to this claim, it becomes clear that respondents in Mafraq agree the most with the statement, followed by Irbid and then Karak, while Amman is most likely. to disagree. Regarding income, the higher the income of respondents, the more likely they are to disagree that refugees receive more aid than Jordanians.
Respondents were also divided on whether refugees should be deported to their country of origin, with 48% believing they should not and 30% believing they should be.
However, the vast majority (77%) believe that refugees deserve our support.
Going back to the potential consequences of the current economic situation on Jordanians’ perceptions of refugees, 19% of those surveyed said the impact of Covid-19 has changed their opinion of refugees in a positive way even though 95% of respondents indicated that Covid-19 has had a negative impact on their economic situation.
Turning to refugee aid organizations in Jordan, the top four organizations mentioned by interviewees were UNRWA, UNICEF and UNHCR, respectively. The least mentioned were the UN and the Red Crescent, respectively.
When analyzing respondents’ opinions on UNHCR’s main role, almost 16% of respondents confirmed that UNHCR’s main role is to provide refugees with in-kind assistance such as clothing and food, followed by those who believe that UNHCR’s main role is to provide assistance and support all refugees in general without mentioning their nationality or type of assistance, nearly 13% of respondents believe that UNHCR supports refugees with financial aid, and 5.5% stressed that the main role of UNHCR is to manage and monitor the affairs of refugees. It should be mentioned here that more than a third (36.1%) of the respondents do not know what the main role of UNHCR is.
Conclusion In general terms, the study finds that some elements could be improved for future waves. First, the survey should have more defined sections. For example, all questions relating to the economy should be grouped together, and the same applies to questions relating to sympathy, etc.
It is also suggested that the section on sympathy be expanded to include other issues. It is about extrapolating the perceptions, attitudes and behaviors of respondents. Such questions may include: “How sympathetic would you be to the refugees, when the crisis in their country of origin ends?” “.
Several responses deserve to be highlighted. For example, some respondents indicated that Jordanians need help alongside refugees, Palestinians need help, and everyone who needs help needs to be supported.
It should also be noted that many respondents confuse international organizations, and in particular that they do not necessarily distinguish between the roles of USAID, UNHCR and other UN agencies. Many respondents also said that they did not know when asked ‘which organizations come to mind when you think of organizations that help refugees? “And” What do you think is the main role of UNHCR in Jordan? Please describe “.