In 2022, the number of forcibly-displaced people worldwide surpassed 100 million – the highest number in history. “Refugee Lens Investing” (RLI), as defined by RIN, presents the best framework and entry point for investments that can leverage ongoing socio-economic development efforts and partnerships to respond to refugee and host community pain points as well as opportunities.

Jordan is one of the world’s largest refugee-hosting countries relative to its population. In addition to hosting a large number of registered refugees from Syria, Jordan is home to various communities of asylum seekers, refugees and migrants from other countries such as Palestine, Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Egypt and Pakistan. Officially, Jordan hosts 658,000 Syrian refugees, but unofficially, it is estimated to exceed 1.3 million.

Although Jordan has three formalized refugee camps for Syrians, 81% of Syrian refugees live in Jordanian cities. The capital Amman and the northern governorates of Irbid and Mafraq alone host over three-quarters of the Syrian refugee population in Jordan. The Syrian displacement crisis has affected the Jordanian labor market in terms of downward pressure on wages, increase in child labor, displacement effects – especially for lower skilled jobs and migrants.

This white paper discusses the policy and enabling environment for RLI in Jordan and provides a clear set of recommendations to act on the findings. The ultimate objective of this research output is to increase the realization of RLI potential in the region. Our research is centered around three pillars of the ecosystem in Jordan: Communities; Policy; Enterprises and Investors.

This paper draws analysis and findings from a robust report by RIN and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) – Data Collection Survey on Refugee-Related Business and Social Investment – which investigates the enabling environment for RLI in Jordan and Uganda. Local teams and partners with deep experience and local networks in the related fields, were used to collect salient information from key sources and stakeholders on the ground for the completion of the report.