Refugee camp

Life in Jordan's desert city

Foreign Affairs




Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp is home to 170,000 people from Syria who have fled the fighting. While camps are the more visible part of the refugee crisis, the majority of refugees in Jordan live in towns and cities where they face different problems. Rents have tripled over the past six months as landlords cash in on the new demand for housing.

Swiss photographer Olivier Vogelsang visited the Zaatari refugee camp in April 2013 and witnessed work by UNHCR and non-governmental organisations Terre des Hommes and Caritas for refugee children and families.

The Zaatari refugee camp is about 70 kilometers north of the Jordanian capital Amman, near the town of Mafraq and 30 kilometers from the Syrian border. The camp was officially opened at the end of July, 2012.

More than 1.4 million Syrians have been forced to flee to to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, and Iraq. Almost 450,000 are registered in Jordan. Thousands continue to arrive every week.

(All images by Olivier Vogelsang)

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