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Gov’t to launch Social Protection Strategy Wednesday

Plan aimed to help poor, protect from poverty

By Rana Husseini - May 27,2019 - Last updated at May 27,2019

AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs and Government Spokesperson Jumana Ghunaimat on Monday said the government plans to officially launch the Social Protection Strategy and Poverty Alleviation (SPSPA) that aims at supporting the poor on Wednesday.

The minister’s announcement was made during a meeting with the press at the Prime Ministry.

“The SPSPA was formulated upon His Majesty King Abdullah’s directives to have a clear vision regarding social defence,” Ghunaimat told reporters.

The minister said the strategy will aim at supporting the poor and “protecting other social classes from becoming poor”.

The minster added that the strategy will be implemented by nine ministries. They include, according to Ghunaimat, the ministries of social development, education, planning and cooperation, labour, energy, transportation, labour, higher education and health.

“The idea is for these nine government entities to work in a collaborative and coordinated manner to ensure the proper application of the strategy while collaborating with the private sector’s institutions,” Ghunaimat explained.

The minister stressed that the SPSPA “will not replace the existing support that is being provided to some 95,000 families through the National Aid Fund (NAF) and that 25,000 additional families will continue to benefit from the NAF”.

“It has been the government’s duty from day one to ease the economic burden on its citizens and families and we are hopeful that this strategy will make some difference in people’s lives,” Ghunaimat said.

Government officials have said earlier this month that the strategy is a fundamental pillar in the work on increasing national capabilities and empowering citizens and improving their living standards, as these principles were included in the National Strategy for Social Protection and Poverty for the years 2019-2025.

Officials have said that the strategy takes into consideration Jordan’s economic, social, demographic and political developments, as well as the Jordan 2025 document and the results of the 2015 Census of Population and Housing, in addition to the National Strategy for Human Resource Development and the National Employment Strategy.

The strategy is in line with the National Revival Project and the government’s priorities for the years 2019 and 2020 to build a comprehensive and integrated social protection system that will protect Jordanians from poverty.

Meanwhile, Ghunaimat stressed that there will be no tax hikes in 2019 or in 2020, noting that the government “is fully aware of the conditions of citizens”.

“We are aware of the burdens that citizens shoulder and the government will not take any decision that will increase their burdens,” Ghunaimat told media outlets during a press conference, stressing that the government will continue to take measures to reduce the pressure on citizens.

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