Swiss Foreign Minister inaugurates project in Azraq refugee camp

[20-05-2017 01:03 PM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - Swiss Foreign Minister, Didier Burkhalter, late Friday officially handed over a borehole and the main connecting pipelines, funded by his country, to provide sustainable and safe drinking water supply in Azzraq refugee camp.

The project, which was announced by Swiss Foreign Minister in October 2015 during his last visit to Azraq camp, is financed and supervised by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in cooperation with UNHCR, UNICEF and Jordan's Ministry of Water and Irrigation .

The project’s cost amounted to 2.2 million Swiss Francs (1.5 million Jordanian Dinars) and will allow a reduction of running costs related to the water supply of approximately 650,000 JOD per year.

During his visit to the camp, which hosts 35,500 Syrian refugees permanently, Burkhalter took at first hand look at the Jordan Civil Defense paramedic services provided to the refugees, including two fully equipped ambulances with trained staff .

The ambulances and the trainings of the paramedics were provided by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, which is part of a wider project through which Switzerland will supply the Jordan Civil Defense with 143 ambulances until 2018.

Burkhalter expressed his appreciation to the Kingdom for the great effort of providing safety and security to more than 650,000 Syrian refugees that have fled the ongoing violent conflict in Syria, noting that Switzerland will support Jordan within its international cooperation program with approximately 26 million Swiss Francs (18 million Jordanian Dinars) in 2017.

In the evening at the World Economic Forum on the Middle East and North Africa (WEF-MENA), currently held on the shores of the Dead Sea, Burkhalter co-hosted a "Swiss dinner", during which the role of young entrepreneurs in fostering economic prospects in the Middle East and North Africa was discussed.

Discussions during the dinner focused on unemployment, viewed by young Arabs as the biggest obstacle facing the MENA region, according to the Arab Youth Survey 2017.

Also on Friday, Burkhalter and his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi, signed a Memorandum of Understanding establishing bilateral political and security policy consultations. During their meeting, the two officials discussed bilateral relations and issues of common interest.

The Swiss minister expressed his appreciation for Jordan’s contribution in welcoming Syrian refugees fleeing war.

The WEF-MENA, which is held this year under the theme "Enabling a Generational Transformation" aims at building inclusive economies, enabling collaborative innovation, empowering youth and supporting humanitarian efforts and diplomatic dialogue.

Hosted in Jordan for the 9th time out of a total of 16, the forum is a unique opportunity that gathers more than 1,100 political and business leaders from more than 50 countries, to discuss issues of empowering women and the youth, aiming at creating jobs for the unemployed and addressing the needs of refugees and host communities.

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