Syrian refugee onward migration from Jordan to Europe

This helpdesk report discusses the main drivers of Syrian refugee onward movement from Jordan to Europe.


Question for this helpdesk report:

  • What are the main drivers of onward migration of Syrian refugees from Jordan to Europe?

There has been a massive influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan since the Syrian conflict began: the official figure is over 650,000 but the actual number is likely to be much higher. Only 21.5 per cent of registered Syrian refugees are living in camps; 78.5 per cent are in urban areas, distributed as follows: Amman (26.4 per cent), Mafraq (23.9 per cent), Irbid (20.7 per cent) and Zarqa (16.7 per cent). Life in Jordan has become increasingly difficult for Syrian refugees in urban host communities: savings and opportunities for subsistence have disappeared, alongside reductions in assistance. Difficult conditions in Jordan, the prevailing sense of the protracted nature of the conflict in Syria, and the belief in greater opportunities and better treatment in Europe are causing many Syrians to consider the onward journey to Europe.


Haider, H. (2016). Syrian refugee onward migration from Jordan to Europe. K4D Helpdesk Research Report. Brighton, UK: Institute of Development Studies.

Syrian refugee onward migration from Jordan to Europe

Published 14 December 2016