In the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, the crude birth rate—at about 42 live births per 1,000 people—far exceeds that of both Jordan (24.5) and pre-war Syria (23).
Many of the babies are born to child brides or very young mothers who feel pressured to replace family members lost in the war.
"Many women want to use family planning tools," says Lina Hamidi, a nurse with the International Medical Corps who manages a reproductive health clinic in Jordan's Azraq camp. "But their husbands won't allow it. Sometimes they think if they have more children, they'll be able to get another shelter—even if they can't take care of the ones they have." With little say in their own reproductive health, women also face heightened risk of sexually transmitted infections.
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