Government, international community endorse new refugee response plan | Jordan News | Ammon News

Government, international community endorse new refugee response plan

[2/20/2019 4:40:49 PM]

AMMONNEWS - The Jordanian government and the international community on Wednesday approved the Jordan Response Platform (JRP) to the Syria Crisis 2019, with a total value of $2.4 billion.

The platform was prepared by a joint effort between representatives of all ministries and related institutions, United Nations organizations, donor countries and non-governmental organizations.

The platform was approved during a meeting, held under the patronage of Prime Minister, Omar Razzaz, and attended by the Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Mary Kawar, and a number of ministers, as well as ambassadors of Arab and foreign friendly countries.

The 2019 JRP will be adopted as a single reference to determine the government's needs to axe the impact of hosting Syrian refugees, supporting host communities and the Treasury.

Jordanian embassies abroad will adopt the JRP in requesting support, and all ministries and official institutions are asked to adhere to its content as the reference document.

During the meeting, Prime Minister said the countries that receive refugees for long periods contribute a large amount of their own resources to cover the costs of hosting them on their territory.

The premier noted Jordan is committed to fulfilling its "humanitarian" obligations, especially towards the Syrian refugees, as it has always done with those who have sought refuge in Jordan for decades, adding the Kingdom has borne more than its fair share of the response on behalf of the international community, which is urged to continue to provide sufficient support to Jordan as part of the international principle of equitable burden-sharing.

"Jordan has proved historically that it is a hospitable country despite the scarcity of resources. Several years after the Syrian crisis, which left an economic and social impact, the basic needs were not sufficient, and the urgent need for more schools, hospitals and sanitation systems is evident in areas hosting Syrian refugees," Razzaz pointed out.

Commenting on the plan, Razzaz lauded the Jordan Response Platform as a model in dealing with the Syrian refugee crisis, and has presented a developmental opportunity despite the economic challenges facing the Jordanian state.

Jordan, he said, relies on the cooperation of partners, donors and the international community to make the 2019 JRP a successful tool of planning and implementation, expressing appreciation for the continued efforts and support in light of the worsening fiscal deficit facing the Jordanian state budget.

Razzaz affirmed that Jordan has reached its maximum absorptive capacity in terms of available resources, physical and social infrastructure, and the government's ability to continue to provide services.

On the refugees' return to their homeland, the premier said the rate of voluntary return is still "low" because refugees do not intend to return now, which will continue to affect our ability to continue to provide basic services to the Syrians, as well as to maintain the quality of services provided to citizens without affecting our national development gains.

He expressed appreciation for the partnership and support provided by donor, brotherly and friendly countries in carrying a part of the burdens of the Syrian crisis and its repercussions on Jordan, which boosted Jordan's resilience amid a complex regional situation.

He said: Over time we began to feel that there is the so-called "donors' fatigue," but at the same time, host countries suffer from exhaustion.

In turn, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Mary Kawar, said the response platform is the government's only reference document to determine its needs to reduce the impact of hosting Syrian refugees on the Kingdom, and support host communities and the Treasury.

The platform's budget for 2019 is some $2.4 billion, in which $700 million will be allocated to support refugees, and a similar amount for host communities, while the remaining $1 billion will cover Treasury needs, she added.

Kawar also called on the international community to fund the 2019 JRP, and provide grants to meet the budget's urgent needs.

She said: "The international community had funded the response platform projects with about $1.6 billion in 2018, accounting for 63.9 percent of financing requirements, compared to 65 percent in 2017".

"The response platform is in line with the Jordan's public policy in education, livelihoods, health and shelter," the minister stated, adding:" JRP stems from the Kingdom's moral responsibility towards refugees and its commitment to the United Nations guidelines for sustainable development, where offering basic services to refugees remain among our top priorities."

The minister noted: "Almost eight years after the Syrian crisis, we must focus on strengthening the national systems that have been affected by the massive influx of refugees and the ability to provide services while protecting refugees".

Minister Kawar addressed the international community saying that: "As I extend my gratitude for the support we have received in 2018, we continue to call upon you as representatives of the international community to increase your support to Jordan in 2019 and following years because alone, Jordan will not be able to keep providing assistance to the refugees and maintain development achievements at the same time, which it achieved through decades of hard work."

The JRP was developed based on comprehensive assessment that analyzes the vulnerable aspects of both the refugees and the Jordanian host communities, as well as the impact of the crisis on the main social services, including education, health, waste management, water, and sewerage system, Kawar explained.

She said that the ministry has built its work on deep analysis and comprehensive assessment of vulnerability and sectorial needs at the levels of refugees and host communities, in addition, a link was provided on the Jordan Response Platform (JRP) to the Syria Crisis 2019 website that includes all detail of the project's data and the required interventions that will enable everyone to directly view the required interventions for each sector, the subsidiary target, the name of the project and their activities and estimated costs.

Regarding the new actions to update the response plan in 2020, she said that the government has been working on developing a response plan to keep up with the current situation and maintain coordination with all partners as the response plan led by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation is a technical and financial partnership between the ministry and UN organizations and donors as part of the JRP to the Syrian crisis; and that this partnership must be upheld, stemming from this, the ministry is calling for maintaining the JRP and provide necessary support to the secretariat of the plan.

On the results achieved by the JRP, the minister said that: "A lot have been achieved in the last year as access to education improved and more than 134,000 Syrian refugee students are enrolled in public schools across the Kingdom, in addition, more than 400,000 health services have been provided and some 130,000 work permits have been issued to Syrians, and programs of cash assistance have reached around 360,000 Syrian refugees and 44,000 Jordanians.

For his part, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Jordan, Anders Pedersen, said that "We are facing chronic challenges due to the Syrian refugees crisis," pointing out that the circumstances of their return are not yet clear to the world.

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