The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and Government of Jordan (GOJ) have partnered in development in Jordan for more than 60 years. USAID has longstanding programs in Jordan in water, education, health, economic development and energy, and democracy and governance. The Syria crisis – and resulting influx of refugees into Jordan – has impacted USAID’s ongoing activities, as well as the GOJ’s ability to meet the needs of the people within its borders. USAID supports the GOJ and Jordan’s host communities as they cope with the crisis. USAID has re-oriented existing programs to account for the refugee situation and has dedicated additional funding to focus on stresses caused by the Syria crisis.
STRESSES ON JORDANIAN COMMUNITIES
- Increased costs for education, health and energy.
- Crowded classrooms with divergent student skills and educational backgrounds.
- Increased pressure on scarce water and wastewater resources.
- Crowded health facilities and shortages of medications and other health supplies in some communities.
- Increased tension within communities due to greater competition for employment, increased costs for food and housing, and more solid waste and litter.
- Increased potential for gender-based violence and human trafficking.
- Disruption to commerce and trade patterns.
HOW USAID IS MITIGATING THE IMPACT
Direct Economic Assistance to the Government of Jordan
- Providing an additional $552 million in budget support and backing for $3.75 billion in loan guarantees since FY 2012, $419 million of which has gone toward helping the GOJ cope with pressures caused by the crisis.
Water and Sanitation
- Supporting the construction of the Za’atri-Hofa pipeline, a new pumping station, and the Mafraq wastewater treatment plant to significantly increase water supply and wastewater treatment services in northern Jordan.
- Providing additional funding for water conservation and infrastructure renovations, including small loans and grants for water catchment and storage, and support to local water companies for infrastructure repair and maintenance.
- Renovating hospitals, particularly in the north, to help alleviate increased demand for care and services.
- Building the capacity of healthcare providers and establishing information management systems to improve healthcare services for all patients, including refugees, and promote efficiency.
- Building new schools: five in the north since 2011 to help alleviate additional demand, plus one more expected to be completed in 2015.
- Ongoing rehabilitation/expansion of 20 schools in northern Jordan that serve over 11,000 students.
- Additional funds are being used to respond to the Syria crisis by accelerating the expansion of schools, developing an early grade reading and math diagnostic tool, and by scaling up a teacher training program that promotes inclusive teaching methods.
Democracy and Governance
- Introducing a new Community Engagement Project promoting community cohesion and tolerance via dialogue and conflict mitigation.
- Additional funds are being used to launch an awareness-raising campaign to address early marriage, human trafficking, child labor, and sexual and gender-based violence.
- Producing an assessment of the fiscal impact of the refugee influx that will improve budget planning.
- Supporting reforms to fiscal policy and public financial management that will benefit all residents of Jordan.
- Training provided to micro- and small enterprises to encourage economic growth and increased investment, leading to resiliency and increased stability among vulnerable populations.
- Conducting a survey to identify the economic impacts of the Syrian presence in Jordan including Syrian economic activity and potential skill sets, and their impact on Jordanian employment.
- Providing Syrian refugees in Jordan with food, food vouchers, or e-vouchers in the form of a debit card, allowing them to buy provisions at local markets, benefiting both refugees and local merchants.
- Creating more than $400 million in indirect economic benefits to Jordan, providing $2.5 million in physical infrastructure investments, and creating 400 jobs to date, in addition to generating $6 million in tax receipts for the GOJ as of the end of 2014 through support to the U.N. World Food Program.
- Providing physical therapy for victims of torture.
Last updated: October 20, 2015