Nutritional status of women and child refugees from Syria-Jordan, April-May 2014

MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Jul 25;63(29):638-9.


As a result of civil war, an estimated 2.8 million refugees have fled Syria and reside in neighboring countries, mainly Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan, and Iraq. The largest Syrian refugee camp in the region is Zaatari camp in Jordan, with approximately 79,000 refugees; another estimated 500,000 Syrian refugees live in Jordanian cities, towns, and villages, mostly in the capital (Amman) and in four northern governorates (Irbid, Mafraq, Jarash, and Zarqa). Although all registered refugees in Jordan receive food vouchers from the World Food Programme (WFP) and vulnerable refugees receive cash assistance from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and nongovernmental organizations, the nutritional status of some refugees might be compromised because of dislocation, lack of income, and limited access to nutritious foods. To assess the nutritional status of Syrian refugees, UNHCR, WFP, the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Medair International (a nongovernmental organization), and CDC, in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund and the World Health Organization (WHO), conducted cross-sectional, population-representative cluster surveys in Zaatari camp and among refugees residing in the host community. The surveys were conducted during April-May 2014 with the principal objective of assessing nutritional status of refugee children aged 6-59 months and nonpregnant women of reproductive age (15-49 years). Preliminary findings indicated a high prevalence of anemia in Zaatari camp among both children and women (48.4% and 44.8%, respectively). Nutrition policies aimed at ensuring optimal child and maternal micronutrient status and addressing the underlying risk factors for anemia are likely to result in improved health outcomes and a reduction in anemia.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Jordan
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status*
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Syria / ethnology
  • Young Adult