Media release

UNHCR high profile supporter Theo James calls for sustained funding support for Jordan


Theo James, the actor, producer, and high profile supporter of UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, has recently returned from Jordan, where he met with refugees in the Azraq Refugee Camp and urban areas in the capital, Amman. Jordan hosts the second-highest share of refugees per capita worldwide. It is also one of the countries most affected by the Syrian crisis, currently hosting over 650,000 Syrian refugees registered with UNHCR. Despite Jordan’s efforts to ensure refugees’ inclusion in health care, education, and – for Syrians – the labour market, it cannot bear the burden of this cost alone. Sustained funding for refugees of all nationalities in Jordan is required to avoid a humanitarian crisis.

In his role as a high profile supporter, Theo met with Syrian refugees to discuss the long-term impact of displacement on people who have now been refugees for over 12 years. Reflecting on his trip, Theo said: “The scars of war are not always visible, but there is also an enormous sustained impact. For many, despair is setting in, as they have lost their jobs and cannot provide for their families; others have taken on extremely high debts and face the threat of eviction. It is as if they were carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders, all while trying to cope with the trauma of war and loss.” 

Theo added: “During World War II, my grandfather worked for the UN in Greece and was forced to flee from Athens to Damascus, Syria. It highlights that anyone can become a refugee at any time, and without the solidarity of the Syrian people, my family would not have found safety.”

UNHCR is facing challenges in funding its activities in Jordan for 2023. Due to projected funding constraints for the refugee response in Jordan, UNHCR had already reduced its program during the planning stage for 2023. Refugee children are at heightened risk of missing out on school, good nutrition, child abuse, violence, neglect, child marriage, and child labour. At the same time, refugee women and girls also face a significant risk of gender-based violence.

UNHCR is responding to more emergencies than ever before. In 2022 alone, thirty-five new emergencies were declared, while others, such as Syria, have not been resolved. The increasing global threats and diminishing humanitarian budgets widen the gap between available resources and needs. UNHCR calls for greater solidarity from the donor community, as countries with the most limited economic means are hosting the most displaced people and require additional assistance. People can find out more about UNHCR’s work with Syrian refugees and donate at

Theo James has supported UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, since 2016. He has travelled to Greece to learn about UNHCR´s work and the situation of refugees. In 2016, there were 170,000 new refugee arrivals in Greece. He also travelled to Strasbourg to reunite with Housan, one of the refugees he met in Greece, to learn how he was resettling in France.


Notes to Editors

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About UK for UNHCR 

UK for UNHCR is the UN Refugee Agency’s national charity partner for the UK. We build solidarity, create partnerships and raise funds across the UK to help deliver global humanitarian relief for refugees through UNHCR’s work.  

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, leads international action to protect people forced to flee their homes because of conflict and persecution. It delivers life-saving assistance like shelter, food and water, helps safeguard fundamental human rights, and develops solutions that ensure people have a safe place to call home where they can build a better future. UNHCR also works to ensure that stateless people are granted a nationality. 

UK for UNHCR is a registered charity in England and Wales (registered charity number 1183415). 

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