Essay Example on Jordan's political economic and infrastructure operational variables

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Jordan's political economic and infrastructure operational variables are key factors that cause instability Jordan is exceedingly dependent on aid and loans from wealthy neighboring countries in the Persian Gulf and traditional allies in the West The massive influx of Syrian refugees into Jordan due to the civil war that erupted in Syria has placed enormous strain on the country This strain comes in the form of Jordan s already severely depleted natural resources high unemployment levels and infrastructure as a whole Finally Jordanian citizens grow increasingly frustrated and discouraged with their government s empty promises and inability to push forward economic reform The widespread habitation of Syrian refugees in Jordan is the greatest driver of instability Jordan has a population of roughly nine million people The country is now home to roughly 1 3 million Syrian refugees comprising roughly fifteen percent of the total population Only half of these refugees are registered with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR The majority of these refugees reside in the urban areas of Jordan with only ten percent living in refugee camps Hosting the refugees is a very expensive undertaking The cost of the refugees is roughly 2 9 billion which comprises eight percent of Jordan s GDP The refugee surge has deeply burdened the public services within the country Municipalities are ill equipped to provide necessary services for the overwhelming number of new residents The arrival of the refugees has created a need for new roads to be built and the expansion of the electricity and waste management infrastructure

The quality and availability of education and healthcare have declined as overwhelmed facilities struggle to cope with the significant increase in numbers of students and patients The schools have become very overcrowded due to over 140 000 Syrian children being enrolled in the public education system The hospitals are not equipped with adequate space personnel or equipment to handle the high volume of patients Because of this people are forced to wait long lengths of time prior to receiving medical attention The high demand for housing is another factor affecting the instability within the Jordanian infrastructure Since the majority of the Syrian refugees do not live in the established camps their presence within the cities has created a shortage of available housing This shortage has permitted property owners to increase the prices for rent According to the Jordanian government this has increased housing costs by 300 percent Impoverished Jordanian families are being displaced by the ever increasing rental rates of the housing market In certain instances these families have been evicted by their landlords to make room for wealthier citizens and refugees Prior to the mass arrival of the Syrian refugees Jordan was already considered to be very poor in natural resources 



They are heavily dependent on imported energy primarily natural gas which encompasses roughly thirty percent of Jordan s total annual imports Water is another resource that Jordan has a critical shortage of Jordan now ranks as the world s second water poorest country The deductions for this austere shortage are diverse but they include population growth inadequate management inadequate infrastructure and politically motivated overuse The available water resources in Jordan offer 800 900 million cubic meters of water annually This amount of water is only sufficient enough to provide for the needs of three million people Jordan s population now exceeds nine million people The availability of labor is a serious economic problem that has emerged from the refugee crisis As of 2016 fourteen percent of the population is living below the poverty line and fifteen percent of the population is unemployed There are close to 200 000 Syrian laborers in Jordan which encompasses roughly ten percent of Jordan s workforce These Syrian laborers are willing to work for wages below the market that are viewed as unacceptable to Jordanians This has generated both concern and frustration from the Jordanian people due to lack of available economic opportunity 



To further complicate the availability of labor Jordan is experiencing a growing youth bulge Nearly seventy percent of the population is under the age of 29 with nearly 60 percent of the unemployed population being under the age of 25 Common causes for youth unemployment are difficulty finding jobs compatible with their qualifications poor wages and working conditions and gaps between the skill level of school graduates and the needs of employers Economic tensions within the country have led to political instability Open public protesting has been seen in cities such as Amman Maan and Karak The participants of these protests consist of independent activists and opposition groups linked to Islamic political parties and leftist organizations These local groups gather to challenge and criticize the rising prices of basic goods clumsy political reform and the government s negligible economic policies A survey by the International Republican Institute IRI conducted in June 2016 found that 87 percent of Jordanians believed the current Parliament had accomplished nothing The survey also found that only 29 percent of Jordanians considered the legislative branch to be effective

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