Canada’s strategy for Jordan

Canada’s programming and engagement in Jordan are key components of Canada’s whole-of-government Middle East Strategy. Canada has invested over $4 billion over six years (2016-2022 ) to respond to the ongoing crises in Iraq and Syria, and their impact in the region, in particular on Jordan and Lebanon.

These crises have had a significant effect on Jordan. Most visibly, Jordan was hosting over 662,000 registered refugees from Syria as of December 2020. This is creating an enormous strain on the local communities that provide essential services and causes tensions between refugees and host communities over housing, jobs, food prices, schools, and health facilities.

To help address the effects of the conflicts on Jordan, Canada is supporting six main strategic objectives:

Providing gender-responsive, needs-based humanitarian assistance to crises-affected populations

Canada is one of the top humanitarian donors to international efforts to address the Syrian crisis.

In Jordan, Canada’s gender-responsive humanitarian assistance works through experienced partners including UN agencies, non-governmental organizations, and the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement to help vulnerable individuals to meet their basic needs and access social and public services. These include:

Our partners ensure the specific needs, priorities and capacities of vulnerable and marginalized people are integrated into the humanitarian response.

Helping set the conditions for a prosperous, secure, inclusive, gender equitable and stable future

In Jordan, our longer-term development assistance programming works to lay the foundations for economic, social, and political stability. We promote skills development, provide finance and business support that empowers women and youth, and invest in renewable energy to create green jobs and free up household income. Canada supported Jordan in developing a five-year National Action Plan for Women’s Economic Empowerment, which aims to increase women’s economic participation from one of the lowest in the world, at 14%, to 25%.

We are also exploring opportunities for innovative financing to draw more foreign investments to the country in order to support small and enterprises to create jobs and growth.

Enhancing the resilience of government institutions, communities and households

Canada is a top-tier donor to international development efforts in Jordan, ranking as the 6th largest single country donor for development assistance in 2019.

We are supporting Jordanian institutions and communities to deal with the crises in Syria and Iraq. At the national level, Canadian development assistance supports Jordanian ministries, such as the Ministries of Health and Education. We are helping ensure Syrian refugees (particularly women and girls) can access Jordan’s public health services and other necessities.

We are helping municipalities cope with the influx of refugees by building the capacity of local government and partner institutions to deliver services that are responsive to the needs of host communities. We are also promoting women’s participation in governance at municipal and community levels.

Improving access to quality public education in Jordan, for both Jordanians and refugees

A large portion of our development assistance goes towards Jordan’s education sector. These efforts are focused on improving access to quality public education for all children, regardless of nationality. To accomplish this, we are supporting system-wide strengthening of the public education system, strengthening the Ministry of Education, enhancing teacher training, and improving school environments. As a result, over 31,000 educators have received training to improve their teaching techniques, which is helping students develop their critical thinking skills. Our assistance is also helping to develop and implement gender-sensitive school improvement plans countrywide. This ensures that every child has access to quality, gender-responsive formal education.

Strengthening border security and building the capacity of Jordanian security forces

Canada is helping to strengthen the capacity of Jordan’s police, military and intelligence agencies to enhance security. We are working with the Jordanian government and the Jordanian Armed Forces to:

Canada is working to prevent and counter violent extremism, including through the training of Jordanian mothers and community leaders in digital and media information literacy to recognize and respond to early signs of online radicalization. Canada is supporting qualified women officers to join the security services. We are also increasing the capacity of Jordan’s security agencies to mitigate the risks posed by improvised explosive devices and to prevent and respond to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attacks.

Maintaining close political and economic relations through diplomatic engagement

Our diplomats in Jordan work with partners and allies to help address the impact of the regional crises on Jordan and to strengthen ties between our countries. They advocate for human rights as well as economic, social, and political reforms. They also promote Canadian values such as gender equality and pluralism, and reinforce the rules-based international order.

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