Thanks to the support of the European Union, we carry out activities to promote access to health and services in the camps and we help people who have suffered violence
Protection. They need protection. They are helpless, faceless. Difficult to identify and to find. In the last 9 years of operations in Jordan, the aim of INTERSOS has been to help and support this tide of invisible people, mainly Syrian refugees, through mobile protection teams that have been able to identify the main problems and weaknesses of the people assisted. A commitment that has led us to include in our protection activities also categories that are often neglected, such as LGBTQI+ people. Since 2003 INTERSOS is operational in the Middle East. In particular, following the 2011 conflict in Syria, INTERSOS focused its intervention in Jordan, Lebanon and Iraq with programmes aimed at supporting conflict-affected populations, both Syrian refugees and host communities.
In this wide context, thanks to the support of the European Union, in April 2020 INTERSOS started a project in Jordan in collaboration with Terre des Hommes and International Medical Corps aimed at improving the well-being, health, and access to services for refugees in camps and urban areas in 6 governorates (Amman, Madaba, Irbid, Karak, Tafila and Ma’an), in Azraq camp and Emirati Jordanian Camp (EJC). More specifically, through this project, INTERSOS humanitarian operators seek to address the diverse needs of persons at-risk and survivors of Gender Based Violence (GBV) by supporting access to quality and dignified protection and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services, enhancing preparedness, prevention and response mechanisms. Additionally, besides responding to the above-mentioned necessities, the project also focuses on the COVID-19 crisis, by providing prevention messages and practical tips in coping with stress and anxiety. Hospital services are also provided to those who are infected with the COVID-19 virus.
Assistance activities for the most vulnerable people
The action targets vulnerable women, men, girls and boys including Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, Queer and Intersex (LGBTQI+) and fosters a community-based mechanism. As a matter of fact, the ongoing activities are a direct result from a preliminary work with communities and stakeholders and insist on the inclusion and participation of the people targeted for humanitarian assistance in making decisions that affect their lives. The population assisted is continuously involved in implementation and monitoring activities such as client satisfaction surveys and post distribution monitoring, ensuring inclusiveness, accountability and transparency.
On the same line, in order to better engage with the target communities and strengthening the outreach, referrals and identification capacities INTERSOS established a solid collaboration with international NGOs, Community-based Organisations and local institutions at governorate and district level. These partnerships allow INTERSOS to reach out a wider number of people in need and provide the needed activities, in places which lay close to them.
The consequences of the pandemic on gender-based violence
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated the already existing needs of the most vulnerable individuals, at risk of Gender Based Violence (GBV) by intimate partners or family members within their houses. Through case management assessments, 15% of the people interviewed reported that COVID-19 and the related restrictions of movement were the main factor for GBV in their households. On this purpose, this year, the international campaign “16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence” in Jordan adapted its theme and focused on the elimination of violence by intimate partners against women and girls in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finally, as an organisation working mostly in the protection sector, INTERSOS is aware of the importance of safe spaces for vulnerable people. In this sense, the project included the creation of dedicated safe spaces, arranged for privacy and comfort when dealing with cultural and social taboos (LGBTQI+, age and gender). Gender balance was considered in staff recruitments and in the target population’s preference when provided with the service and capacity building trainings were conducted for the staff implementing activities as well as for members of the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Social Development, Community Based organisations and Syrians/Jordanian volunteers with the final goal we all work towards: assisting people in need in the best possible way and with professionalism.