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Australia expands partnership with UN Women in Jordan, targetting ‘those most in need’ amid COVID-19 crisis

Partnership enables rapid deployment of services, information to rural, underprivileged women

By JT - May 07,2020 - Last updated at May 07,2020

Women in Karak and Tafileh collect direct cash assistance from UN Women and the Ministry of Social Development as part of their continuing collaboration amid the COVID-19 crisis (Photo courtesy of UN Women Facebook page)

AMMAN — The Government of Australia, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, has extended an additional contribution to UN Women in response to COVID-19 to provide livelihood opportunities to vulnerable Jordanian and Syrian refugee women.


According to a joint statement from the Australian government and UN Women, activities will engage more than 500 vulnerable women in UN Women’s Oasis centres located in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps, as well as in Oases located in community centres managed in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development in Zarqa, East Amman, Karak, Maan and Tafileh.


The partnership will also focus on creating an enabling environment for women’s empowerment and civic engagement at the community level by facilitating their access to key protection, education and enabling services, such as childcare facilities and transportation. Around 1,800 children will also benefit annually as a result, the statement said.


“We are pleased to be able to support and empower more women in Jordan through the expansion of our partnership with UN Women. The flexibility of our funding means it can be directed to those most in need, which is particularly important as Jordan deals with COVID-19,” Australian Ambassador to Jordan Miles Armitage said in the statement.


This flexible financing instrument has been critical for UN Women in responding to the immediate needs of women during the COVID-19 pandemic, including equipping all its Oasis centres with additional sanitisation materials to protect the community from virus transmission, the statement said.


UN Women also worked closely with the Ministry of Social Development to distribute direct cash assistance to more than 400 vulnerable Jordanian women and Syrian refugees across the Kingdom through its Oasis centres, while ensuring “seamless and remote” access to cash entitlements by Syrian refugees in camps through its innovative blockchain system in partnership with World Food Programme (WFP).


“Jordan has taken important steps to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Putting women’s empowerment at the centre of its efforts will help ensure the country recovers more effectively” said Ziad Sheikh, UN Women Jordan Representative.


“UN Women welcomes this renewed partnership with the Government of Australia, which enabled us to rapidly deploy life-sustaining services and information to women in need, especially in rural areas”, he said.


Since 2017, more than 50,000 Syrian refugee and vulnerable Jordanian women have benefitted from resilience and empowerment services offered by UN Women through the support of the Government of Australia. Within this framework, UN Women has also partnered with the WFP to increase the number of Syrian women benefitting from the economic opportunities provided through the WFP's school feeding programme in the Zaatari and Azraq refugee camps, the statement said.


As of 2019, UN Women is partnering with WFP and IrisGuard to distribute cash entitlements in refugee camps through a blockchain technology system, which allows women to choose to save their money, receive cash-back or purchase food and essential supplies.



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