The Neglected Health Needs of Older Syrian Refugees in Jordan

Sigrid Lupieri

Forced Migration Review 57, February 2018, pp. 25-27


Older refugees are often a neglected population, particularly when it comes to health. In Jordan, an estimated 77 percent of Syrian refugees over age 60 have specific needs related to mobility, nutrition and health care, and more than half suffer from psychological distress. However there is an overwhelming focus on the health needs of women and children and a perception that the elderly are taken care of by their families. The specific health needs of older Syrian refugees in Jordan tend to be overlooked due to (a) inadequate data on the number, needs and vulnerabilities of older refugees, disaggregated to show the heterogeneity within the ‘over 60’ age category; (b) a narrowing of institutional mandates, where individual organizations often prioritize categories considered vulnerable such as women, children and persons with disabilities, resulting in a lack of expertise on cross-sectoral issues such as ageing; and (c) the nature of the humanitarian response, which is still geared towards an emergency situation and life-saving treatment and which is no longer adequate for a protracted crisis or for addressing complex and chronic health needs. The author advocates for greater inclusiveness of older refugees in the humanitarian and development response.




Jordan | Syria