Canadian international assistance in Jordan
As a middle-income country, Jordan has had a relatively stable and well-functioning economy and has demonstrated progressive social development indicators.
In 2015, Jordan ranked 80th out of 188 countries on the Human Development Index of the United Nations Development Programme. Jordan has made some progress in the past in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). This is particularly true in the fields of education, environment and health care. However, more remains to be done to achieve targets related to equality, poverty reduction, employment and gender parity.
Challenges in Jordan
An estimated 14% of Jordan’s population continues to live below the national poverty line. The development challenges, particularly for youth and women, continue to persist in Jordan, where unemployment for youth has reached 29%.
Women’s participation in the labour force is only 22% compared with that of men at 87%, and Jordan ranks 102nd out of 188 countries on the UN’s Gender Inequality Index.
Jordan has incorporated the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which build on the MDGs, into its national agenda, notably Jordan’s 2025 Vision plan. The country has highlighted the need to address the SDG goals related to climate action. In 2013 Jordan became the first country in the Middle East to develop a national climate change policy.
Jordan is one of the most water-scarce countries in the world. This is coupled with a rapid population increase and urbanization, which has led to additional strains on limited energy resources.
Impact of conflict in Syria
Since 2011, the crisis in neighbouring Syria has had a negative impact on Jordan's economy, fiscal position, public infrastructure, services and social cohesion.
The Government of Jordan is facing extreme pressure as it struggles to address the needs of more than 642,000 registered refugees, 85% of whom are living in host communities.
This rapid increase in population and the strain on Jordan’s resources has led to tensions in host communities. The crisis in Syria has further exacerbated Jordan’s long-standing social development challenges, which include:
- high unemployment
- low wages
- growing pockets of poverty and marginalization
- protection challenges for women and children
- systemic barriers to women’s empowerment and participation in economic and political life
Jordan’s relatively secure environment makes it a hub for the delivery of Canada’s programs in the Middle East. It plays a critical role in supporting Canada’s response to the crises in the region.
Our international development assistance
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In the beginning of 2016, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Canada's new strategy to address the ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria, including increases over the period 2016-2019 to Canada's security, stabilization, and humanitarian and development assistance.
Complementing Canada’s international humanitarian assistance, Canada’s bilateral development assistance is helping achieve long-term development objectives in education,sustainable economic growth and municipal governance, while also supporting Jordan in its response to the refugee crisis.
Canada’s development programming is helping to strengthen the resilience of individuals, communities and systems to withstand the crises in the region and contribute to the longer-term development of Jordan.
Inclusive help for women and youth
Our development assistance in Jordan supports a more-resilient education system that provides a quality and inclusive education for all children, including refugee children. Canada provides direct budget support to Jordan’s Ministry of Education to implement its national education plan and strengthen its capacity to deliver services while further supporting improvements to the quality of education through, for example, support for teacher training.
Canada also supports improved, low-carbon economic growth, job creation and entrepreneurship in Jordan, particularly for women, youth, refugees and refugee-hosting communities. Canada’s programs in Jordan support, for example
- local renewable energy
- enterprise development
- skills development and income generation
- economic empowerment for women and youth
Supporting needs of citizens and refugees
Canada is supporting the Government of Jordan to respond effectively to the needs of citizens and refugees, particularly in refugee-hosting communities. By adopting a resilience-based approach, Canada is helping to strengthen the capacities of individuals, institutions and systems of the government to withstand the impacts of the ongoing crises in the region. For example, Canada’s programming is supporting municipalities to provide quality basic services to local populations.
Key anticipated results
- improved learning outcomes and improved access to public schools for Jordanian and Syrian boys and girls
- increased participation of women and working-age youth in the formal labour market
- a more conducive environment for economic growth, including for women and youth entrepreneurs
- increased employment opportunities for skilled workers in the renewable energy and energy-efficient sector, particularly for women and youth
- improved relationships between Jordanian and Syrian refugees and resilience of individuals affected by the conflict in Syria
- In the Scaling up Professional Development of Teachers project, 5,550 teachers (68% female, 32% male); 233 supervisors (26% female, 74% male) and 275 principals (53% female, 47% male) were trained on instructional practices in math, science, English, Arabic and leadership.
- Through the Jordan-Canada Partnership for Youth Employment, 5,509 youth (69% female, 31% male) have completed the Business Development Centre’s skills-for-employment training, of which 58% were employed within six months of completion. Some 90% of those that completed the training and the internship program retained their jobs for at least one year.
- Over 1.5 million Jordanians and Syrians, of whom 45% were women, have benefited from improved municipal services, such as solid waste management and local road maintenance, through grants provided to municipalities by the Emergency Services and Social Resilience for Municipalities Affected by Syrian Refugees project.
- Embassy of Canada to Jordan and Iraq
- Travel advisory for Jordan
- Jordan – International Development Projects
- Canada’s response to the conflict in Syria
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