Press release: Inauguration of Civil Defence Center in Zaatari refugee camp


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AMMAN / MAFRAQ, 24 June 2014 – The inauguration and opening of the Civil Defence Center in Za’atari refugee camp took place today.

The project, implemented by UNOPS on behalf of the Government of Japan, and in partnership with the Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate (SRAD), seeks to assist the Government of Jordan in managing the influx of Syrian refugees. The infrastructure and equipment, including an operations center, accommodation for the Civil Defence, and observation posts fitted with solar panels distributed around the perimeter of the camp, will enable the SRAD to offer the camp residents unhindered and undisrupted access to the services offered by humanitarian actors.

The opening was attended by Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Deputy Chief of Mission and Counselor at the Embassy of Japan, His Excellency Qasem Mheidat, Governor of Mafraq, Brigadier General Waddah Hmoud, Director of Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate, Colonel Abdul Rahman Amoosh, Za’atari Camp Manager, Mr. Gerhard Pansegrouw, Director and Representative, UNOPS Amman Hub, UNHCR, other senior officials of the Government, as well as partner agencies operating in the camp. Za’atari Refugee Camp is managed by the Government of Jordan through the SRAD, in coordination with the UN refugee agency (UNHCR).

“Prior to the project, the CD did not have accommodation in Za’atari camp, requiring them to enter and leave the camp regularly,” said Mr. Pansegrouw, Director and Representative of UNOPS Amman Hub. This left a potential gap in security services and camp administration. “Now, thanks to support from the Government of Japan, the SRAD will be able to fulfill their mandate with regards to maintaining peace and security in Za’atari camp.” Currently the world’s second-largest refugee camp, Za’atari houses 85,000 Syrian refugees, and their safety and security is of utmost importance to the Government of Jordan.

The solar panels installed on the observation posts will provide electricity and lighting systems 24 hours a day. They ensure a sustainable source of power and eliminate reliance on carbon-emitting generators, underscoring the Government of Japan and UNOPS’ commitment to supporting partners in delivering environmentally sustainable aid and development projects in locations around the world.

UNOPS, an operational arm of the United Nations, has been supporting the Government of Jordan’s response to the Syrian refugee crisis since 2013, with projects both inside and outside of refugee camps.

The Government of Jordan now hosts nearly 600,000 registered Syrian refugees, and estimates that there are as many as 1.3 million Syrians in total in the country. The Syrian Refugee Affairs Directorate is responsible for security, administrative and internal matters regarding Syrian refugees in Jordan. It also coordinates with the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation regarding all matters of international assistance and relations with international organizations assisting Syrian refugees in Jordan. It consists of members of The Public Security Directorate (PSD), the Gendarmerie Forces (GF) and the General Directorate of Jordan Civil Defence (CD).

For Press Inquiries, please contact: Rebecca Saxton-Fox, UNOPS Reporting and Coordination Officer,, Tel: +962 797555765

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