Zaatari refugee camp
|• Camp Manager||Hovig Etyemezian|
|• Total||2.0 sq mi (5.2 km2)|
|• Density||62,710/sq mi (24,212/km2)|
|figures from August 23, 2015 (est.)|
|Time zone||UTC+2 (UTC+2)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+3 (UTC+3)|
Zaatari (Arabic: مخيم الزعتري) is a refugee camp in Jordan, located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) east of Mafraq which is gradually evolving into a permanent settlement. It was first opened on July 28, 2012 to host Syrians fleeing the violence in the ongoing Syrian civil war that erupted in 2011. On March 26, 2015, the camp population was estimated at 83,000 refugees.
It is connected to the road network by a short road which leads to the highway 10.
The camp features market-like structures along the main street where goods like vegetables, basic household equipment and clothes can be purchased. There are also coffee shops where shisha can be smoked.
Since the opening of the camp in July 2012, the camp population has repeatedly demonstrated. The main concern has related to the lack of sufficient food supplies and better accommodation. The camp has seen an increasing number of reports of crime, including prostitution and drug-dealing. Furthermore, demonstrations are used as a forum to create awareness of the conflict and to express political views against the current government led by Bashar al-Assad and the violence inflicted by the Syrian Armed Forces. Further the protesters declared support for the Free Syrian Army.
Due to the maximum capacity of 60,000 refugees in March 2013 a second camp was built 20 kilometres east of Zarqa in the Marjeeb Al Fahood plains. On 5 April 2014 a riot resulted in a number of injuries to both refugees and Jordanian police. One refugee was killed by gunshot.
In 2015, filmmakers Zach Ingrasci and Chris Temple lived in Zaatari for a month, resulting in the documentary Salam Neighbor.
Accurate counting of the number of refugees in the camp stopped during March 2013 due to the high influx of refugees that skyrocketed that month. Current estimates put the number of refugees residing in the camp at about 79,900 (August 23, 2015 estimate).
Since the opening of the refugee camp in July 2012, the camp saw a dramatic increase in its population, that made it the largest population center in Mafraq Governorate within a few months:
- On the 27th of August 2012, the number of refugees in the camp reached 15,000 refugees, comprising about 10% of the total number of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
- The camp was housing 30,000 Syrian refugees as of September 6, 2012 comprising about 30% of the total Syrian refugees in Jordan.
- On the 29th of November, 2012 the number of refugees reached 45,000, while the total number of Syrian refugees in Jordan was approximately 230,000.
- On the 10th of January, 2013 the total camp population reached 65,000 comprising 22% of the total Syrian refugees in Jordan.
- On the 5th of February, 2013 the number of refugees in the camp reached 76,000, while the total number of Syrian refugees in Jordan was more than 345,000.
- In March 2013, the Syrian security forces started a large-scale security campaign in the southern regions of Syria, resulting in a significant increase in the refugees crossing the borders to Jordan. By 11 March there were more than 156,000 refugees in the camp. These estimates make Zataari the fourth largest city in Jordan.
- On 30 April 2014, another refugee camp was opened in Azraq. All newly arrived refugees are now taken to Azraq, while the number of refugees in Zaatari have steadily depleted. By September 2014, the number of refugees in Zaatari has fallen to 79,000, according to the latest figures from the UNHCR.
The figures during the initial days varied slightly from day to day due to people 'escaping' or leaving the camp back to Syria, and partly due to initial over counting  Movement out of the camp remains restricted leaving many to label it a prison or detainment camp and going against core humanitarian principles. Most of the refugees are from the Governorates of southern Syria, Damascus and Homs.
UNHCR remains responsible for the refugees and the camp is managed by the Jordanian Hashemite Charity Organization / JHCO. In March 2013 the UNHCR called the German Mr Kilian Kleinschmidt to be the "Senior Field Coordinator" of the camp. Other actors include:
- InterSOS is in charge of distributing "stoves for tents, blankets and winter clothes" as a part of the winterization campaign.
- International Relief and Development Inc. (IRD)
- Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)
- International Medical Corps
- French military field hospital providing a "surgical unit specialised in treating war injuries"
- Moroccan military field hospital
- Syrian American Medical Society
- Italian Field Hospital
- UAE Red Crescent
- Jordanian Red Crescent
- Handicap International
- IOM / International Organization for Migration Screening and Health relations with Jordanian Hospitals and Health Ministry for treatment.
- IFH Noor Al-Hussein Foundation, Partner with UNHCR, UNFPA
- Two clinics operated by UNFPA for primary health care and reproductive health care
WASH (Water/Sanitation/Hygiene) coordination and overall responsibility:
Water and sanitation facilities:
- Federal Agency for Technical Relief THW constructed 160 kitchen units and 380 toilets. The THW was contracted by UNHCR.
- ACTED responsibility lies in the field of water treatment, water testing and waste management (liquid and solid).
- SCJ / Save the Children - Jordan "is working to enroll children of Syrian refugees in the Zaatari Refugee Camp in schools" as a part of "the educational outreach programme".
- UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Youth educational activities, Vocational Training and Higher Education
- IRC / International Rescue Committee is active in assessing the extent of gender based violence.
- IOM / International Organization for Migration 
- Norwegian Refugee Council providing informal education services
- The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) providing peace-building, music and arts workshops, vocational training and psychosocial support to youth aged 14-30 in the "Peace Oasis" in block 5 
Women's and Children's Protection:
- The International Rescue Committee(IRC) operates four women's centers in Zaatari camp, and works with UNICEF to care for unaccompanied and separated children.
- World Vision International implements projects with regard to water drainage and road construction.
- ICRC is tracing families and relatives of refugees.
The Zaatari refugee camp is gradually moving away from a model of top-down service provision, as is usual with refugee camps administered by international humanitarian organisations. Instead, under the aegis of the UNHCR, the camp is gradually transforming into a self-provisioning urban conglomeration, where refugees are provided with various forms of cash-based assistance and encouraged to address their own needs.
Since 2012 Zaatari shelters and other structures have been mapped more than 25 times using satellite imagery by UNOSAT. Zaatari is one of the first camps to be mapped in detail through OpenStreetMap.
- "Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City" "Refugee Camp for Syrians in Jordan Evolves as a Do-It-Yourself City"]. by Michael Kimmelman in The New York Times July 4, 2014
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "UNHCR data Portal". UNHCR Syria Regional Refugee Response. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Protests continue at Zaatari camp as community leaders emerge". The Jordan Times. 2012-11-05. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Police disperse rioting Syrians at Zaatari camp". The Jordan Times. 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Jordan selects Zarqa site for second Syrian refugee camp". Jordan Times. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Refugees Daily". UNHCR. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Second camp for Syrian refugees opens in Jordan". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Syria crisis: Deadly clash in Jordan's Zaatari camp". BBC News. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "امتلاء مخيم الزعتري باللاجئين السوريين - العرب اليوم". العرب اليوم. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- امتلاء مخيم الزعتري باللاجئين السوريين (in Arabic). Al-Arab Al-Yawm. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "جريدة الغد". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Alghad Newspaper (Arabic)". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- Alrababa'h, Ala'; Jarrar, Ghazi (August 18, 2013). "Syrian Refugees: Time To Do The Right Thing". Sharnoff's Global Views. Retrieved August 30, 2013.
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "UNHCR - Jordan opens a new desert camp for Syrian refugees at Azraq". UNHCR. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). "Syria Regional Refugee Response - Jordan - Mafraq Governorate - Zaatari Refugee Camp". UNHCR Syria Regional Refugee Response. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Over 1,000 Syrians cross into Kingdom during Eid holiday". Jordan Times. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany (28 June 2013). "Kilian Kleinschmidt Profile: Running a Syrian Refugee Camp". SPIEGEL ONLINE. Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "From Our Head Of Mission In Jordan Davide Berruti". Intersos.org. 2012-10-30. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- AFP. "Syria refugees fear long stay as French aid reaches Jordan". Jordantimes.com. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Rainwater floods tents in Zaatari camp". The Jordan Times. 2012-11-12. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Syrians flee violence and disrupted health services to Jordan". Retrieved 20 November 2014.
- "Syria crisis: camp inhabitants contribute to building activities". Thw.de. 2012-09-24. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Syria Crisis: Mr Westerwelle visits THW-Team". Thw.de. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "New Syrian refugee arrivals spark expanded ACTED intervention". Acted.org. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Save the Children seeks to enrol Zaatari children in schools". The Jordan Times. 2012-10-02. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Supporting Syrian refugee women". Rescue.org. 2012-10-18. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- Farge, Emma. "Thousands of Syrians trapped in Aleppo: UNHCR". Reuters.com. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Jordan: ICRC opens tracing office in refugee camp". Icrc.org. 2012-09-26. Retrieved 2013-02-01.
- "Zaatari refugee camp resonates with Canada". Toronto Star, David Johnston, Nov. 1, 2016
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