Italy and IUCN launch the AMER project in Jordan to empower local communities and enhance sustainable agriculture

Amman – The Italian government, represented by HE the Ambassador of Italy Luciano Pezzotti, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), represented by the Regional Director of the IUCN – ROWA Dr Hany El Shaer, signed today a partnership Agreement marking the launch of the Italy-funded “Agricultural Management to Enable Resilience (AMER)” initiative in Jordan.

The two-year project, with a total budget of 1.5 million euros, seeks to enhance sustainable economic mechanisms in the agricultural sector and food security, as a foundation for empowering host Jordanian communities and Syrian refugees in the southern areas of the Country.

The initiative will be implemented in the governorates of Madaba and Karak, benefiting about 2,700 citizens and Syrian refugees, including youth, women, and small farmers.

“Despite the progress made on economic development in Jordan, livelihood and food insecurity are particularly pervasive in more remote and rural areas”, said Ambassador Pezzotti. “In contribution to Jordan’s efforts to alleviate poverty and protect vulnerable segments of society, Italy has been providing funds for several initiatives aimed to increase sustainable livelihood, through smallholder agricultural productivity and capacity building. This project is therefore fully aligned with the priorities set forth in the Italian Cooperation strategy, and is also harmonized with Jordan’s endeavors to reduce climate-related vulnerability through improved water management systems, in a Country that experiences severe water scarcity”.

This project is aligned with IUCN’s vision to conserve Nature and address socio-economic challenges. It is indeed designed to improve the living conditions of the beneficiaries by applying income-generating agricultural practices and sustainable production methods.

During he signing ceremony, the Regional Director of IUCN-ROWA Dr. Hani Al-Shaer said that “IUCN is very pleased to open this new chapter of cooperation with the Italian government to improve and empower the vulnerable local communities and Syrian refugees in the southern governorates of Jordan by introducing the Water, Energy and food security Nexus”.

The initiative also seeks to foster the awareness and capabilities of communities, local authorities, academic institutions, and schools in the targeted governorates in relation to sustainable agricultural practices and food security.

In addition, it aims to improve the knowledge and skills of small farmers and breeders in the host communities, and among Syrian refugees in the targeted areas, to help them face climate change-related challenges.

Along the actions that will be implemented, IUCN will help establish hydroponic farming systems, support new and existing small projects in the agricultural sector for women and youth, and establish water harvesting systems.

It is noteworthy that the first phase of the project, which focused in the governorates of Irbid and Mafraq, was concluded in 2022, More than a thousand Jordanians and Syrian refugees, including youth, women, and small-scale farmers, benefited from this successful intervention.

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