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Basma

Basma, Syrian refugee in Jordan

Basma cannot afford to rent an apartment, so she sublets a room where she lives with her four children on the top floor of an old building in East Amman.

The space is poorly insulated and keeping it warm is difficult.
When asked what her priorities are for the winter Basma doesn’t know where to begin.

“We need clothes, blankets, gas cylinders, everything…” she says, exasperated. “We need
assistance throughout winter. Not just for one month. It’s extremely cold all the way from
December till February.”
Like most refugees, Basma is not allowed to legally work, so she relies solely on cash assistance from UNHCR. Her monthly expenditure is what she receives from the agency.

This winter's cash assistance allowed her to buy gas refills to keep the family
warm.

“I’ve taught my children that they just have to cope.”

“I wouldn’t dare borrow money from anyone because I know I simply cannot pay it back,” she
explains. “So I’ve taught my children that they just have to cope.”

Coping means that her son is left without treatment for his breathing problems.