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Razzaz launches EU-funded social protection, integration programme

‘Comprehensive project to redefine poverty, social protection, role of gov’t and civil society’

By JT - Apr 25,2019 - Last updated at Apr 25,2019

Prime Minister Omar Razzaz speaks during the launch of an EU-funded project to enhance social protection and integration (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Thursday launched an EU-funded project aimed at enhancing social protection and integration, at a value of 23 million euros.

The project seeks to improve the performance of Jordan's social protection system by developing the infrastructure of the centres and administrative units of the Ministry of Social Development and boosting the monitoring and evaluation network to ensure the best social services for the underprivileged, the youth, women and people with disabilities.

Razzaz expressed appreciation for the EU’s support for this project, along with several other ventures and programmes on social protection and integration, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

The prime minister also referred to the importance of cooperation with the EU in supporting and training social workers to understand the reality and components of targeted families and create a holistic assessment that ensures the provision of services depending on the individual needs of each family.

Razzaz referred to a comprehensive project that will redefine poverty and the impoverished, social protection as well as the role of government and civil society institutions, noting that the process requires the engagement of several ministries, with the Ministry of Social Development playing a key role in such efforts.

These projects lay the cornerstone for a society that encompasses all, the prime minister said, referring to the negative impacts of separating people with disabilities from integrating into schools.

The premier said that the government, through the Health Ministry and the Jordan Nurses and Midwives Association, is currently working on establishing a company, to be run by the association, to present nursing and pharmaceutical service to patients at home, especially after they leave hospital. 

He expressed the government’s readiness to present such services for free to families that need support and care. 

Also under the umbrella of enhancing social protection, the premier said that the government is working on expanding social security coverage to include part-time workers, referring as well to a complementary aid programme to be launched in Ramadan, which will cover an additional 25,000 families.

He also pointed out a project to assist underprivileged families in obtaining and operating solar-cell power generators aiming to mitigate the burden of electricity costs, in addition to offering public transport coupons for underprivileged youth, particularly in the governorates, to enable them to penetrate job markets in the capital or other urban centres.

As for healthcare, the prime minister indicated plans to expand free insurance coverage for impoverished and low-income families, in addition to a school-meal programme for children of underprivileged families. 

He highlighted the importance of the integral role between the government, private sector institutions and civil society in light of the government’s inability to provide all services to all families and individuals.

The premier said that the meeting reflected the determination of all partners not to accept the current situation, which considers poverty as an isolated phenomenon and treats people with disabilities as exceptional cases that must be separated from society and its institutions.

Social Development Minister Basma Ishaqat said that the project is part of efforts to realise the “national renaissance” project, which relies on empowering Jordanians and meeting their needs through qualitative services and a network of social safety. 

Ishaqat stressed that social security systems have a strong influence if they are designed and implemented in a proper way that takes into consideration the special condition of each country, noting that such systems enhance human capital and productivity and curb the cycle of poverty and its inheritance to other generations. 

EU Ambassador to Jordan Andrea Matteo Fontana stressed that ending inequality is the core of the strategy to develop the social sector, which also accords with the government’s priorities for 2019-2020.

The project’s activities are to be implemented by the Social Development Ministry over the next four years in partnership with the Northern Ireland Cooperation Overseas, Expertise France and the United Nations Office for Project Services.

The launching ceremony was attended by Chairman of the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities HH Prince Mired, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Mary Kawar and several officials.

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