Expanding Social Assistance to Jordan’s Most Vulnerable

Amman (June 18, 2020) –The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.K. Department for International Development (DFID), the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID), and the Jordan Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation have signed an agreement to expand support for vulnerable Jordanians, particularly those severely impacted by economic strains resulting from the COVID-19 crisis. The U.S. Government formally committed an initial 20 million dollars. The UK Government committed 6.17 million dollars which will help support vulnerable families in Jordan affected by the COVID-19 pandemic The Government of Spain signed on to become the third donor to this agreement.

The multi-donor account will be managed by the Government of Jordan’s National Aid Fund (NAF), which helps the poorest Jordanians who are struggling to make ends meet. The uncertainty of the COVID-19 epidemic has created growing demands on the NAF to expand emergency cash assistance, as well as allowances to cover transportation and electricity, for the most vulnerable segments of Jordanian society.

“We are grateful for the Governments of the United States, the United Kingdom and Spain for their generous and invaluable support towards this Multi-Donor Account, which reflects a true understanding of the mounting challenges facing Jordan in light of the regional crises, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Jordanian economy. This Joint Financing Arrangement came following a positive assessment by the Donor Group of the social protection schemes implemented by the Government of Jordan which will further strengthen our national system and assist our efforts towards self-reliance. The overarching purpose of this Program is to expand and improve the poverty-targeted social assistance programs operated by the National Aid Fund (NAF) and strengthen its ability to respond to emergencies including the Covid-19 crisis with the ultimate goal of alleviating the effects of poverty in Jordan. Moving forward, we aspire to further strengthen this partnership by encouraging other donors and international partners to join this effort,” said Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Dr. Wissam Rabadi.

“The joint financing arrangement for the National Aid Fund establishes the third such multi-donor fund that accelerates Jordan’s path toward self-reliance by working through the Jordanian governmental system, rather than funding an international parallel structure,” said USAID Mission Director Dr. Jim N. Barnhart. “It proves that even in moments of crisis, we in the international community should remain committed to ensuring our host country partners are strengthened by our assistance.”

UK Minister for the Middle East James Cleverly said, “The UK is committed to supporting Jordan, one of our closest allies, to meet the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. This funding will bolster Jordan’s existing social systems to support poor and vulnerable Jordanians most affected by the crisis. The support will mainly help women and girls, who are most in need of assistance.”

“The Spanish Government believes that a coordinated response to COVID 19 is required in order to jointly and successfully overcome the consequences of this global pandemic and be efficient. From this perspective we are devoting our efforts to joining common initiatives like this one, based on solidarity and aligning resources behind Jordan’s leadership in order to achieve a real impact. Indeed, Spain, as part of the EU, and as close and committed partner to Jordan firmly believes that working together with other donors and the Government of Jordan is the best way forward in order to be successful in the common endeavor to overcome the crisis leaving no one behind,” stated Ambassador of the Kingdom of Spain to Jordan Aránzazu Bañón Dávalos.

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