Ammon News, Culture & Society

More Than 100,000 Work Permits for Syrians Issued in Jordan

[7/18/2018 6:25:56 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Ministry of Labour has issued over 106,000 work permits for Syrian refugees so far while the number of workers in the informal economy remains at an estimated 300,000, head of the Syrian Refugees Department at the Ministry of Labour Hamdan Yacoub said on Saturday. Yacoub warned that “the engagement of refugees with the informal economy is one of the most worrisome factors when gauging the impact of the refugee crisis on the Jordanian labour market”. The remarks came during a seminar organised by Tamkeen Fields for Aid, which examined the impact of the presence of Syrian refugee workers on the available opportunities for Jordanian job seekers. During the discussion, Yacoub noted that “there is a percentage of Syrian refugees who are reluctant to follow the procedures to obtain work permits”, explaining that “many of these individuals fear losing the financial support provided by international organisations or the possibility of resorting to a different country as a result of the issuance of a work permit and the regulation of their situation in Jordan”. However, several stakeholders present at the seminar expressed their belief that the issuance of work permits does not affect the value of the assistance provided by humanitarian organisations, arguing that work permits are a regulatory procedure aimed at protecting the rights of these guest labourers in accordance with the provisions of the Labour Law. “Our stand as the Ministry of Labour is to preserve the rights of Jordanian citizens to work while facilitating Syrian refugees’ access to the labour market in accordance with the Jordan Compact,” Yacoub told The Jordan Times in a recent interview, adding that “the Jordan Resilience Plan is the reference the ministry is considering when dealing with the crisis and formalising the refugees’ status in the labour market”. The Jordan Compact, according to relevant literature, was signed by Jordan and the international community in February 2016 to deal with the Syrian refugee crisis, under which Jordan would receive support as it has assumed a heavy burden ensuing from hosting around 1.3 million Syrian refugees and is “carrying out a global public good on behalf of the international community”. Jordan pledged under the compact to facilitate Syrians’ access to the labour market in return for donors’ aid. It was followed by a deal with the EU under which the union eased the rules of origin for Jordan under certain terms that officials are trying to modify due to their unfeasibility. “We are aiming to encourage Syrian refugees to get involved into the industrial and manufacturing sectors and fulfill the requirements of the EU rules of origin,” the official said, adding that the ministry “is working hand in hand with the International Labour Organisation and UNHCR to raise awareness among the private sector on the need to do job matching and facilitate the refugees’ access to factory work”. “Last year, we opened a list of jobs previously reserved for Jordanian citizens in order to encourage them [refugees] to join the formal labour market and formalise their status,” Yacoub said, adding that the ministry is now working on adapting the instructions for the issuance of work permits to facilitate the procedures for Syrian refugees. For his part, Mohammad Maaytah, international expert on migrant workers and refugees at the Arab Trade Union Confederation, pointed out that “while regulating the labour market by granting work permits to refugees is part of the solution, the core of the issue lies in the lack of sufficient jobs for Jordanians, migrants and refugees alike”. “The fundamental solution is to create equal-opportunity jobs in order to tackle the high unemployment rates,” he added, stressing that “this requires not only granting work permits, but easing the procedures, requirements and material costs”. *JT

Read Comments

PM vows to find solution to wastewater pool in Ruseifa

[7/17/2018 2:31:06 PM]

AMMONNEWS - Prime Minister Omar Razzaz on Tuesday pledged to address the environmental problems caused by a wastewater pool adjacent to the Pepsi company in the Ruseifa district of the Zarqa governorate. The "Pepsi Pool" has been an environmental dilemma that existed for decades and constituted a health hazard for the local community as it gathers the wastewater from the soft drinks bottling facility. People, who live close to the area have long complained about the constant presence of unpleasant odours, mosquitos and insects owing to stagnant water resulting from the leakage from nearby factories and rainfall. The premier, moreover, directed the Greater Amman Municipality and the Ministry of Water and Irrigation to take immediate action to solve the problem and put an end to the suffering of people living in the vicinity. "We realize that the people of the area have been patient about the problem over the years, awaiting the problem to be addressed", said Razzaz, who was accompanied by a number of ministers and lawmakers on a tour of the area.

Read Comments

Jordan, Turkey discuss education cooperation

[7/16/2018 6:51:59 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Adel Tweisi discussed with President of the Turkish Ibn Haldun University Recep Senturk, recognizing the university to become a destination for Jordanian students. The minister called for examining the university's request for accreditation after the university completes accreditation requirements adopted by the ministry. President of the Ibn Haldun University said the university seeks to cooperate with the ministry and Jordanian universities to teach the Arabic language due the advanced skills Jordanian teachers have. He also extended an invitation to the minister to visit the university to check on its academic and teaching levels.

Read Comments

Jordan launches aid drive for Syrian refugees trapped at its border

[7/3/2018 11:39:06 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The United Nations on Tuesday urged Jordan to open up its borders to Syrians fleeing Daraa, where President Bashar al-Assad's government is currently in a fight against rebels to take back the city. "We call on the Jordanian government to keep its border open and for other countries in the region to step up and receive the fleeing civilians," UN human rights spokesperson Liz Throssel said. The Jordanian government at present has closed its border to Syria, leaving civilians attempting to escape the violence in Daraa stranded.The latest UN figures indicate that over 270,000 refugees have fled the battle there. Government officials in Jordan, however, argue that the country is already at full capacity. "We have received enough Syrian refugees; we already have a large number and we simply cannot receive more," Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat told The Jordan Times over the weekend. According to the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, there are currently 666,596 Syrian refugees in Jordan as of June 2018. The Jordanian government has now opted to provide more humanitarian support to refugees at its border instead of taking them in. On Sunday, Jordanian Prime Minister Omar Razzaz launched a nationwide effort to collect donations including food, water and medical supplies for Syrian refugees fleeing Daraa. Dr. Tina Zintl, a senior researcher at the German Development Institute, believes the Jordanian government's stance makes sense given the current internal situation there. "Jordan could make the extra effort and take in more people," she told DW. "But in terms of domestic politics it is quite a hard game so I completely understand why the Jordanian side has decided to not take in more refugees but instead provide humanitarian aid." Many Syrian refugees are clustered in the north of the country, Zintl said. In cities located near the Syrian border, such as Mafraq and Irbid, local residents argue taking in more refugees would put a strain on their resources and burden the economy. *DW

Read Comments

Crown Prince: 'Our generation is the one tasked with and qualified to take Jordan into the future'

[7/2/2018 5:20:41 PM]

AMMONNEWS - His Royal Highness Crown Prince Hussein, the Regent, said on Monday that Jordanian youth are facing numerous challenges, top of which are the bloody wars in the region that have an enormous impact on the Kingdom, an economy burdened with crises as well as unemployment. He said in a speech he delivered during a visit to the King Hussein Bin Talal University in Maan that the young generation is the one tasked with and qualified to take the Kingdom into the future, where opportunities are created through bold ambition, innovation and entrepreneurship, adding that "we will not settle for lack of progress in Jordan." The Crown Prince said fulfilling the future vision does not squarely lie on the shoulders of this generation, but it is a joint responsibility where the private and public sectors, youth institutions and the entire society all have a part and a place in the journey towards the country's progress. Next is the full text of the speech: In the name of God, the Most Merciful, the Compassionate, Brothers and Sisters, Peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you, I am proud to be today in Maan, the city that received the vanguard of the Great Arab Revolt and witnessed major milestones in our Jordan’s history. We pay tribute today to the great efforts that established and developed this academic landmark [Al Hussein bin Talal University]. On this occasion I would like to recall the saying: ‘Maan belongs to us, and we are there for you’. I am delighted to meet with you today. I know the great challenges that have started to weigh on your shoulders even before you graduate. And I sense the conflicting emotions you are currently experiencing, a mixture of happiness, enthusiasm, and anxiety. For it is your turn, now, to build, and contribute to Jordan’s prosperity and progress, but in your own way, and with the tools of your age, since every generation has its own identity, opportunities, and challenges. The challenges before our generation are numerous. On the one hand, we have a region troubled by bloody wars whose implications continue to impact our country. On the other hand, we have an economy burdened with crises. And we must not forget unemployment, a challenge facing many countries around the world and not unique to Jordan. I do not claim that we have a magic wand to resolve all these complicated challenges. I am fully aware that we, you and me together are at the very beginning of our journey. However, I also realise that we live in a world unlike anything that previous generations have witnessed. I have recently completed an internship programme at a number of the world’s leading and most successful IT companies. I experienced first-hand how the world around us is rapidly changing at an unprecedented pace, pushed forward by constant progress ideas that, as they quickly emerge and mature, are followed by dozens others, even more advanced. I returned with two certainties. First, we live in an era of self-reliance. Today, there are no public sector jobs ready to absorb our generation. Opportunities are created by pioneers and entrepreneurs; there will be no waiting queues for job seekers in the future. Second, our generation is the one tasked with and qualified to take Jordan into the future, where opportunities are created through bold ambition, innovation, and entrepreneurship. And I know my fellow young Jordanians very well. We will not settle for lack of progress in Jordan. It is our generation that will change things around. But fulfilling this future vision does not squarely lie on its shoulders; it is a joint responsibility; the private and public sectors, youth institutions, and our entire society all have a part and a place in the journey towards progress of our beloved Jordan. We are not asking society or officials to create opportunities for us. All we want is that they provide the enabling ecosystem that allows opportunities to flourish, an environment that embraces entrepreneurship, nurtures innovation, and appreciates talents. What we need is the space to unleash our potential without restrictions or limitations; without words like ‘it will never work’, ‘why would you bother?’, ‘this is not acceptable’, or ‘go find a real job’. Sometimes, the hardest obstacles are those self-imposed ideological stereotypes, old ways, and prejudgements that clip our wings and undermine our self-confidence. We are proud of our past and heritage, and we owe so much to our parents and ancestors. However, if our generation remains trapped in a struggle between the traditions and mind-set of the past, and the ways and technologies of the current era, we will never move forward. If we do not change, adapt and develop, we will fall behind. The most sustainable traditions and principles are those that evolve to keep up with the times. Therefore, we must nurture in our youth the values of change and renewal, not subordination; of openness, not closed-mindedness; of freedom of choice and creativity, not dependence. This is what my father, His Majesty, has taught me. And my father’s guidance has been important in what he says as much as what he does not say. He has never told me ‘this is not acceptable’, and he has never made me feel that my hands are tied with ‘what must be done’. He has not limited my prospects, nor forced anything on me. He has given me the space to experiment and choose. Whenever I am hesitant or unsure, he urges me to ‘try’ or ‘experiment’, realising that the lessons I would learn from failure are far more valuable than success, and that choice is a responsibility. He has taught me, like he has said before, never to take ‘tsk’ [no] for an answer. My dear friends, We have always heard that Jordan is poor in resources, and we have grown up proud to know that the people are our most precious asset. We are told that youth are the future, but we desperately need to believe in them and in their resolve. For example, over 23% of tech entrepreneurs in the Arab world are young Jordanians, although we make up only 3% of the region’s population. Humility is good, but not when it comes to our potential and aspirations for our Jordan. History offers us many examples of countries like Singapore and South Korea that managed to relaunch their economies and surpass countries rich in natural resources, with a progressive vision, faith, and resolve. And history stands as witness to Jordanians’ unmatched resolve. Dear students, Beyond this campus lies an opportunity waiting for you to create it. Go forth from this university with a burning flame and a thirst to work in this fast-paced world. Do not let stereotypes and labels define you, and do not allow barriers to stop you; overcome them. Inertia is our ultimate enemy. Jordan awaits your bright resolve and looks to you with pride as do your parents as its greatest achievements and its legacy. Believe in yourselves; believe in your dreams. Whenever you are hesitant or reluctant, remember these words: be bold; dare to try. May God bless you; may God strengthen your resolve; and peace, God’s mercy and blessings be upon you.

Read Comments

Crown Prince surprises young participants in Haqiq initiative in Aqaba

[6/28/2018 5:49:36 PM]

AMMONNEWS - His Royal Highness Crown Prince Al Hussein bin Abdullah II, the Regent, surprised young participants in the Haqiq initiative in Aqaba and joined them in voluntary work to restore a house there. Prince Al Hussein chose to spend part of this day, which coincides with his twenty-fourth birthday, participating the initiative's youth in the extra voluntary work announced by the Crown Prince Foundation on the occasion of his birthday. The Crown Prince commended the Haqiq initiative students' efforts and their active role in the construction process by seeking to spread the concept of volunteering in all governorates of the Kingdom. His Highness exchanged talks with a number of family members of the restored house and checked on their living conditions. He also had a conversation with the initiative students. The Haqiq initiative is one of the Crown Prince Foundation's initiatives. It was launched in April 2013, and aimed for students of both sexes in different governorates. Candidates, who wish to join the initiative shall pass several stages before choosing a knight for each regiment. At each stage, mechanisms of teamwork, team building and promoting the system of special leadership concepts are developed, as well as the development of members' mentality, intellectuality and knowledge.

Read Comments

Provision of Health Services in north-eastern Jordan

[6/27/2018 11:24:29 AM]

AMMONNEWS - The Government of Japan has decided to extend an Emergency Grant Aid to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), in May 2018 which amounts to 1,000,000 USD, under a project titled “Provision of Health Services in north-eastern Jordan.” This ceremony was held at the Base Camp at Za’atari Camp in Mafraq governorate on Tuesday June 26th 2018; in the presence of H.E. Mr. Hidenao Yanagi; Ambassador of Japan in Jordan, Mr. Stefano Severe, UNHCR Representative to Jordan. This Emergency Grant Aid was given to enhance access to primary healthcare for the Syrian refugees, and to ensure that it is sufficiently available for refugees living in both camps and urban areas. In a speech delivered during the ceremony H.E. the Ambassador stated: “Government of Japan has been aware of the significant challenges and constraint in accessing sufficient health services among Syrian refugees in north-eastern Jordan. We believe that ensuring access to primary healthcare and referral services through UNHCR and its partners for vulnerable refugees in both camps and urban setting is crucially important. In this regards, Japan decided to provide an emergency grant assistance of 1 million USD to UNHCR for the provision of health services among Syrian refugees residing in north-eastern Jordan, which allows some estimated 121,000 Syrian refugees to access sufficient healthcare services. In February this year, the Government of Japan decided to extend approximately 17.5 million US dollars to the international organizations and NGOs operating in Jordan, and approximately 3.7 million US dollars was allocated for UNHCR to provide assistance to vulnerable Syrian refugees.

Read Comments