The United States and Jordan have partnered in development for nearly 60 years. Today, focus areas under USAID’s new development strategy include economic development and energy, democracy and governance, family planning and health, education, water, and gender equality and female empowerment. USAID also supports Jordan’s efforts to address the growing challenges caused by the ongoing influx of Syrian refugees.
DEMOCRACY AND GOVERNANCE
USAID focuses on increasing judicial independence and accountability, expanding civic participation, improving governance and transparency, and addressing issues creating tensions within communities. Programs also support democratic reform by promoting independent media, human rights, representative political parties, and free and fair elections. Successes include grants to community organizations to address local priorities and stresses arising from the influx of Syrian refugees. New programs are promoting community cohesion and tolerance through dialogue.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND ENERGY
USAID programs spur economic growth by improving the business-enabling environment, increasing industry-level competitiveness, creating a world-class workforce and helping vulnerable groups benefit from economic opportunities. Since 2006, USAID has brought $1 billion in new investment to Jordan and created more than 85,000 jobs. Its efforts have accelerated growth in the areas of tourism, Internet Communication Technologies, and medical services, and helped create a microfinance industry that serves over 300,000 people with a $187-million portfolio.
During the past two years, USAID has helped the Government of Jordan (GOJ) raise $2.25 billion in affordable financing from international capital markets so it can provide critical services to its citizens as it enacts economic reforms and hosts 650,000 Syrian refugees. USAID is also helping the GOJ reduce expenditures by eliminating fuel subsidies and reducing energy subsidies while protecting its neediest people. It is also helping the GOJ increase energy efficiency and diversify its energy resource base with a focus on renewables, including solar and wind power.
POPULATION AND FAMILY HEALTH
In cooperation with the GOJ, USAID’s health program improves family planning/reproductive health (FP/RH) through increasing access to, and quality of, FP/RH services. In 2013, health outreach workers provided 357,000 low-income women with FP/RH information through home-based counseling visits. USAID also focuses on improving maternal and neonatal health outcomes by ensuring safer pregnancies and deliveries through upgrading obstetric and neonatal wards, institutionalizing protocols within facilities, providing clinical training and expanding outreach. USAID improves health outcomes through health systems strengthening activities focused on service delivery, health workforce development, knowledge management and information systems, and renovation of health facilities.
EDUCATION AND YOUTH
USAID programs support the GOJ in education reform by building the capacity of teachers and administrators and by enabling school construction and rehabilitation. USAID works with the GOJ on strengthening reading and math skills in the first few grades of school both inside the classroom and in a child’s community. USAID constructed and furnished 27 new schools and 550 kindergarten classrooms as well as rehabilitated and expanded 65 existing public schools. USAID recognizes that youth are the future leaders of the Kingdom of Jordan and thus is providing life skills training and work opportunities to vulnerable youth. More than 20,000 educators have been trained, and leadership and life skills of 102,700 youth were enhanced through school-to-career programs.
WATER RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENT
Jordan is one of the driest countries on Earth. Demand for water exceeds Jordan’s renewable freshwater sources. The continuing influx of Syrian refugees has placed additional demands on Jordan’s already stressed resources. To address increased needs, USAID is improving water resource management through community empowerment, institutional reform, demand management, improved pricing, integrated water resources management, and water and wastewater infrastructure. Efforts include small loans and grants for water catchment and storage, and support to local water companies for infrastructure repair and maintenance.
GENDER EQUALITY AND FEMALE EMPOWERMENT
Enhancing gender equality and female empowerment is a priority for USAID. In all activities, USAID focuses activities to include and empower women and girls, promotes changes in discriminatory norms and practices, enhances advocacy and policy reforms for gender-based issues, and increases access to female-centered services.
Last updated: January 26, 2015
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