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EU joins forces with ILO, UNHCR and UNICEF to support vulnerable Jordanians, Syrian refugees

By JT - Dec 01,2020 - Last updated at Dec 01,2020

Syrian refugees are seen at Zaatari refugee camp in the northeast of Amman in this recent photo (Photo by Amjad Ghsoun)

AMMAN — Through the EU Regional Trust Fund in response to the Syrian crisis — the EU Madad Fund — the European Union (EU) is working in partnership with the ILO, UNHCR and UNICEF to support access to an inclusive national social protection system and decent job opportunities for both vulnerable Jordanians and Syrian refugees.

With a total investment of 59 million euros implemented over the course of three years, this joint programme strengthens the self-reliance of vulnerable Jordanians and refugees, according to a UNHCR statement.

Through cash assistance linked to skills-building and productive inclusion initiatives, vulnerable populations in Jordan will be provided with opportunities to transition to more sustainable livelihood prospects.

Cash assistance is considered one of the most important protection options for people facing protracted displacement like the refugees in Jordan, allowing them to meet their needs in a dignified manner, whilst contributing to the Jordanian economy. 

Of the 59-million-euro EU contribution, 45 million euros will complement the UNHCR’s ongoing Vulnerability Assessment Framework (VAF), which identifies the most vulnerable refugees and provides them with multipurpose cash assistance. 

It will enable the UNHCR to continue providing this support to around 33,000 refugee families every month, whose needs and challenges have become even more critical during the COVID-19 emergency, the statement said.

In parallel to the cash assistance support, an additional aid of 14 million euros to a partnership between ILO and UNICEF will support the implementation of the Jordanian National Social Protection Strategy (2019-2025). 

The aim is to contribute to the strengthening of a sustainable social protection system — including reinforcing links between social protection and employment — for both Jordanians and refugees. 

The ILO-UNICEF partnership will also facilitate the transition from cash assistance to dignified livelihoods opportunities through a holistic approach of interventions, which includes skills development and counselling for sustainable employment within decent work principles.

EU Ambassador to Jordan Maria Hadjitheodosiou said that “the economic downturn linked to the COVID-19 pandemic and to the protracted crisis, is significantly impacting Jordan, leaving thousands of families with limited access to livelihoods. The EU is committed to working with partners to support the government of Jordan in its effort to strengthen its national social protection system and to make it more accessible.”

With social protection being a key priority for both the EU and the UN, this programme aims to build on the strategic partnership with the Ministry of Social Development. 

This partnership embeds joint commitments to enhance coordination, integrated planning and monitoring of the government’s efforts in the social protection and employment sectors within the scope of the National Social Protection Strategy. Implementing UN Agencies are coordinating with respective government partners for setting the programme’s priorities.

Since its establishment in December 2014, a significant share of the EU’s non-humanitarian aid for Syria’s neighbouring countries is provided through the EU Regional Trust Fund in Response to the Syrian Crisis, the EU ‘Madad’ Fund, the statement said.


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