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Jordan largest country hosting refugees compared to population, says minister

Interior Minister Mazen Farrayeh Tuesday discussed the conferences producing results and ideas for solutions to the consequences and negative effects of immigration, illegal immigration and controlling borders by relying on digital transformation and AI.

During the opening of the “Embracing Modernisation: Artificial Intelligence and Digital Transformation in Border Management and Control” forum, Farrayeh said in 2022, Jordan hosted an international conference on border security with wide international participation and a set of positive ideas were adopted that reflected on border control and the use of technology.

He said, “The refugee issue is no less important than immigration,” noting that Jordan offers help to refugees insofar as the amount of aid provided to Jordan, stemming from the moral and humanitarian dimension.”

He added that the government prioritises its citizens over the refugee population in the Kingdom, explaining that the original home of the refugees is their homeland and that the amount
of aid provided to Jordan to support refugees “did not meet the required level.”

He said Jordan bears its responsibilities and the continued provision of services to refugees is linked to the amount of international support provided to them, urging the international community to help Jordan host its “large” refugee population.

He noted that over 1.35 million refugees live in Jordan, adding that the number of Syrian refugees born in the Kingdom since 2011 had reached 233,000 so far, making Jordan the country with the “largest” refugee population compared to its population.

He added that refuge had placed great financial strains on the government, especially with the dwindling international funding for the Kingdom’s response plan to the Syrian crisis, explaining that the percentage of financial support for the response plan had reached 5.8 per cent of the total required amount.

He added that a recent United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Bank study revealed that there is a poss
ibility of a new humanitarian crisis for refugees, the high rate of poverty and unemployment in refugee camps and outside and an increase in the work of minors, which requires increasing support for Jordan.

He added that Jordan’s location between three continents offered advantages and challenges, especially amid regional instability. This added to the Kingdom’s challenges with more workers seeking work opportunities in the country.

The government is preparing a strategic plan to deal with foreigners in the Kingdom, including immigration governance and data management in partnership with the EU.

The head of the Lebanese Army’s Border Monitoring and Control Committee, Brigadier General Amin Qa’i, said issues related to monitoring and controlling borders in any country are priorities for social, economic, and national security.

Qa’i added, “We in Lebanon seek to benefit from the Jordanian experience and its wise vision in supporting issues related to integrated border management and what the forum will prov
ide in terms of exchanging experiences between countries that face the same challenges, such as Tunisia and Libya, to find solutions to counter common difficulties such as displacement, migration, and cross-border crimes.

“Our country and neighbouring countries must not give an opportunity that can be exploited by those who tamper with national security, including terrorists, arms dealers and drug dealers in light of the current crises, such as the Syrian displacement and its impact on the economy and social fabric.”

The Defence Attaché at the Dutch Embassy to Lebanon, Lieutenant Colonel Vincent van Ovem, said leveraging AI in border management holds “great promise” for enhancing operations.

He said countries face globalization, migration and security issues, adding that modernising border management practices are “crucial for stability.”

Source: Jordan News Agency