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Refugees and Displaced Persons

Unlike any other Arab country, Jordan granted full citizenship to all Palestinians who fled after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, and to all those who arrived from the West Bank after the 1967 War. Citizens of Palestinian origin now form a large proportion of the Jordanian population, and enjoy the same rights and responsibilities as Jordanians of East Bank origin.

While Jordan has always been a haven for displaced persons and refugees, the sudden influx of more than 300,000 permanent returnees and one million transit refugees during and after the Gulf Crisis presented a monumental challenge. It highlighted the urgent need for the development of mechanisms to accommodate the mass movement of population resulting from emergency situations. Through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Red Cross, and the Jordan Red Crescent Society, the international community was able to help Jordan aid those who had taken flight from the war zone. Jordan's existing system was not equipped for the strain on the country's social, economic, health, educational and financial institutions, and therefore urgently required international assistance to fulfill its moral obligations to the refugees. HRH Prince El Hassan has also called for the development of a regional and international social charter for the protection of migrants' rights.