UNDP, Italy sign €1.5m new partnership to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for Iraqi refugees and vulnerable Jordanians

Amman, 1 July, 2020 – The Italian Government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)  have today signed a project Agreement aimed to support the economic sector and boost livelihoods opportunities for vulnerable communities in Jordan. The project “Enhancing Self Reliance and Inclusion Prospects for Displaced-Affected Communities (Iraqi and Host Communities) in Amman” funded by the Government of Italy aims to stimulate local economic revitalization and job creation in neighbourhoods of downtown Amman, embracing the community’s wealth of skills as well as local market assets and resources.

The €1.5 million agreement was co-signed by UNDP Resident Representative to Jordan Sara Ferrer Olivella and the Ambassador of Italy to Jordan Fabio Cassese, in the presence of the Mayor of Amman Yousef Shawarbeh and the Head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) in Amman Michele Morana.

The Ambassador of Italy Fabio Cassese stated the great relevance of this project to enhance employment among vulnerable communities and address the creation of economic opportunities in the Country. “Jordan has been a generous and welcoming host to more than 67,000 Iraqi registered refugees, demonstrating inclusiveness in providing emergency support services. Italy is a proud partner in these continuing efforts towards strengthening employment prospects and ensuring social cohesion within the most disadvantaged communities”.

The intervention places the community at the centre of the decision-making process and addresses neighbourhood-specific challenges. The majority of all beneficiaries targeted by the project activities – vulnerable Jordanian youth and women impacted by displacement and other people of concern, including Iraqi and Syrian refugees and migrants – live in urban areas and outside refugee camp. “The Italian Cooperation is currently funding various initiatives benefitting people impacted by displacement and marginalized communities,” added Mr. Morana. “Through its programmes, AICS Amman works jointly with local and international partners to ensure economic growth and strengthen dialogue and socio-economic inclusion, by also fostering engagement of vulnerable beneficiaries in both remote and urban areas”.

Access to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the project beneficiaries will be supported through matched vocational training, apprenticeship, craftsmanship and entrepreneurship training modules leveraging impact sectors such as tourism, artisanship, food, local services and green economy. The project also includes scholarships for young community leaders to acquire leadership skills and confidence.

“This project lies at the heart of UNDP’s Inclusive Growth programme” Olivella-Ferrer said, “promoting a holistic approach to self-reliance and community cohesion for all who call Amman home. The aims are to help achieve sustainable livelihood opportunities, to support an inclusive enabling and regulatory environment, to encourage community-driven civic engagement, and to build the capacity of associated support structures”.

The project will be supported by the Heart of Amman Social Entrepreneurship Centre in cooperation with the Greater Amman Municipality and the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship, to engage private sector, angel investors and to attract growing global Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) impact investment community.

Cities like Amman, impacted by the influx of refugees and migrants, are key stakeholders in the Global Compact for migration, the first intergovernmentally negotiated agreement prepared under the auspices of the UN and addressing a common approach to international migration.

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