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During its visit to Jordan, the delegation of the Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) learned about the situation of refugees in Zaatari refuge camp near the Syrian border, and got an overview of the measures aimed at solving the refugee crisis at the meetings with the representatives of UN aid organisations and the parliament and government of Jordan.

“On the basis of what we saw in Jordan, it is clear that the Syrian crisis has international dimensions,” the head of the delegation and the Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Hannes Hanso said. “It is the greatest crisis of the 21st century, and the states of the world should cooperate to find a solution to it.”

In Hanso’s opinion, it is clear that dealing with the refugees locally is considerably more reasonable than waiting for them to move outside the region. “Estonia, too, must actively contribute to this process,” Hanso said.

At the meetings with the members of the parliament and Government of Jordan, Hanso acknowledged them for receiving such a large number of Syrian refugees. He said that it is understandable it exerts great pressure on the social and administrative system of the country.

In the opinion of the member of the Foreign Affairs Committee Henn Põlluaas, the visit to Jordan was necessary in order to get adequate information on the security and refugee situation in the region. “Today, there is no clear understanding of that in the Riigikogu and in the government,” Põlluaas said.

“We got confirmation to our position that the consequences, which are only the tip of the iceberg, are not the issue that has to be dealt with. Attention must be focused on solving the problem locally in the region. That would be much more effective and useful,” Põlluaas said.

Chargé d’affaires of the European Union delegation at Amman Vladimir Janecek said at the meeting that the need for assistance for the refugees locally is greater than the contribution of international community today. This year Estonia will support the refugee camps in Jordan with 300,000 euro.

At the meeting of the delegation with UN humanitarian coordinator and UNICEF Representative in Jordan Robert Jenkins, it was emphasised that every fifth inhabitant of Jordan, which is a relatively poor country, is a refugee from Syria. According to official data, there are more than 600,000 Syrian refugees in Jordan, but it is estimated that the actual number is around 1.5 million. 80 percent of the refugees live outside the camps, and 75 percent of the refugees are women and children.

The delegation consisting of the members of the Riigikogu Hannes Hanso, Eerik-Niiles Kross, Juhan Parts, Henn Põlluaas, Vladimir Velman, Kalle Palling and Jaak Madison met with their colleagues from the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Jordanian Senate and the Committee of Energy and Mineral Treasure of the House of Representatives of Jordan. At the meeting with the Secretary General of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources Ghaleb Mousa Maabreh, the investment of Eesti Energia to the oil shale industry of Jordan was discussed. The delegation also visited the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation and UNHCR representation in Jordan.

Riigikogu Press Service
Epp-Mare Kukemelk
Phone: +372 631 6356, +372 515 3903
Questions: press@riigikogu.ee