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Essential Public Services Improved
For more than five decades, USAID has helped build Jordan’s health, education, and water systems. Today, water scarcity and rapid population growth pose threats to Jordan’s stability and survival.
Maintaining and improving Jordanians’ standard of living in the future depends on the Government of Jordan’s (GOJ) ability to strengthen the delivery and quality of basic essential services. Jordan faces increased pressure on these services due to a shortage of water, rapid population growth and the large influx of refugees from the region.
Scarce Water Resources
With a national population that is projected to double to 13 million by 2040, a large youth bulge, and a growing number of refugees, Jordan’s scarce natural resources – including water and energy – are under additional strain.
Pressures on Healthcare Services
Recognizing that population increases can hinder socioeconomic progress, the GOJ set a goal of reducing the 2012 fertility rate of 3.5 children per woman to 3.0 by 2017, highlighting the need for family planning and reproductive health services. Although Jordan has experienced significant reductions in maternal and infant mortality levels, the causes of both are largely the result of inadequate or inappropriate care during pregnancy, delivery, or during the first critical hours after birth. The crisis in Syria, and subsequent influx of refugees, has added additional challenges to the provision of health services. It is estimated that an average of 9 percent of healthcare beneficiaries are now Syrian refugees, further straining the system and shifting resources from priority areas, such as maternal, neonatal and child health, as well as family planning and reproductive health services.
Need for Higher-Quality Education and Increased Youth Engagement The education sector also faces several challenges that are hindering Jordan’s ability for sustainable, equitable growth. While both boys and girls are not achieving educational goals, girls consistently outperform boys due to the poor learning environments in boys’ schools, outdated learning materials, and teachers who lack the necessary training to mitigate these challenging classroom settings. In addition, while primary school enrollment nears 97 percent, reading and math comprehension rates in early grades remains dramatically low. Furthermore, youth who leave the formal education sector have few options available to them, either in alternative education structures, avenues toward employment, or civic engagement.
USAID’s investments in the water sector focus on improving efficient management of water resources by utilities, communities and consumers; aquifer conservation management; maximizing the conservation of agricultural water; and construction of critical water supply and water treatment infrastructure.
In order to address the challenges in the health sector, USAID focuses on increasing the demand for family planning and reproductive health services; improving the quality and access to reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services in addition to integrated family planning; strengthening the health system and improving the enabling environment to provide health services.
In education, USAID supports the GOJ’s national education reform strategy by building the capacity of teachers and administrators, improving the outcomes for grades K-3 in reading and math, and constructing and rehabilitating schools. Youth-oriented programming focuses on creating positive opportunities for at-risk youth and increasing non-formal education programs for youth who have dropped out. Additionally, USAID works with the Ministry of Education to improve planning, access to best practices, information management, accountability, and inclusive and transparent decision making.
IMPACT & RECENT ACHIEVEMENTS
- Improved education for students across the country by providing thousands of educators with professional and leadership skills, promoting professional recognition, and preparing them to support a healthy, caring school environment.
- Provided training to more than 20,000 teachers, built 27 new schools, refurbished 97 existing schools, renovated 609 kindergarten classrooms.
- Improved fresh water and sanitation services for more than one-third of Jordan’s population, including the construction of a desalination plant that provides roughly 30 percent of Amman’s water supply.
- Reduced water losses and maximized the impact of the Disi water aquifer, enabling the pumping of 100 million cubic meters of water to Amman and other parts of northern Jordan each year.
- Helped reduce maternal mortality from 41 deaths/100,000 live births in 1997 to 19 deaths/100,000 live births in 2008, and infant mortality from 30 deaths/1,000 live births in 1997 to 17 deaths/1,000 live births in 2012.
- Ninety-nine percent of all deliveries now take place in health facilities, many renovated by USAID.
- Introduced post-partum family planning services in public hospitals, purchased or renovated family planning clinics, and reached 1.6 million women with health counseling in their homes.
- Renovated and modernized 300 public-sector clinics, 22 private-sector clinics and 25 hospitals, and trained staff in best practices.
Last updated: July 30, 2015